Owner Versus City Storm Water System Responsibilities

The city maintains the public stormwater system contained within dedicated storm drainage easements. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintains the storm systems in TxDot right of ways. Storm systems on land owned by other public bodies such as the Forney Independent School District, the state, the federal government, etc. are maintained by those entities. There are also numerous private systems that are the responsibility of private property owners, including driveway culverts and bridges that cross public drainage systems.

Storm Drain

The city is responsible for maintaining the public drainage system and structures within the easement to allow for proper function of the system.

Private Drainage & Erosion Issues

Private drainage and erosion issues, as well as ground water issues, are the responsibility of the property owner. Drainage directed from gutters, downspouts or other private systems to neighboring properties is a civil matter between the property owners. Driveways, and their associated culverts or bridges, that cross public drainage systems (e.g., that cross over ditches or streams) are also property owner responsibilities.

Information or assistance may be available from Public Works about the cause of the problem and possible solutions; however, the city cannot recommend a particular contractor or undertake any work outside a city easement.

Property owners are responsible for routine grounds maintenance such as grass mowing and trash / debris removal. Owners should ensure that systems and structures are kept free of yard waste (grass clippings, tree trimmings, and leaves) or other obstructions that may block the flow of water, including:

  • Driveways and their associated culverts or bridges
  • Fences, which are allowed in easements as long as they do not block the flow of storm drainage
  • Trees, shrubs and other growth within easements

How You Can Help

Keep storm drains free of litter and debris. Do not rake or dump grass clippings or leaves into the storm drainage system. Keep the area easily accessible in case repairs or maintenance are necessary. Do not place sheds or other permanent structures in the easement or on top of drainage structures. Apply pesticides and fertilizers several days before rain is forecast; if applied right before a rain, most of it will just wash off and end up in a storm drain. Also, consider reducing the number of applications.

Never dump pet waste, used motor oil, paint, chemicals or other substances into a storm drain. Report dumping or spilling of hazardous materials into a drainage system to the Fire Department by calling 911 in case of an emergency or 972-552-3694 in a nonemergency situation.

Swimming pools should never be drained into storm drains without properly treating the water first.