‘TIS THE SEASON FOR LEAF REMOVAL TO PREVENT FLOODING
Now that fall is here, so are the leaves and the big job of removing them. As leaves start to fall they drift into ditches and culverts, clogging drain pipes, which can cause road flooding.
Both the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and property owners have an important role in maintaining good drainage for neighborhood roads. VDOT clears leaves and debris from state-owned roads and ditches and property owners are responsible for removing leaves on their land.
VDOT works to keep ditches, culverts, drains and other drainage systems located on state-owned right of ways maintained and clear of debris. VDOT also responds to flooding or standing water, but only when it affects a state-maintained road or state-owned right of way. In addition, the agency replaces damaged or deficient storm sewer pipes and culverts, and conducts inspections on stormwater facilities.
Property Owner’s Role
Property owners are responsible for maintaining any ditches, drainpipes or other drainage systems on their property.
Property owners must also keep stormwater flowing freely through their land. Grass clippings, leaves and other debris must be gathered to avoid accumulation, which can lead to clogged and overflowing ditches, drains and drainpipes. Raking and bagging leaves (check with your locality on specific instructions for discarding leaves) also prevents them from blowing and drifting onto adjoining or nearby properties, causing clogged pipes and ditches for neighbors.
Tips for maintaining good drainage:
- Keep debris such as leaves and grass clippings out of open channels, ditches, driveway pipes or any other location that could block the free flow of stormwater runoff.
- Prevent the discharge of pollutants, including pet waste and fertilizers, into the drainage system.
- Maintain all drainage facilities on private property when there is no VDOT, county or city right of way.
- Respect your neighbor’s property— leaves or debris can drift from one property to another, causing drainage problems for neighbors.
If problems continue after taking these steps, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623). VDOT will research inquiries and determine if it has responsibility over your area of concern.
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