Drainage Concerns

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If you have any type of drainage feature on your property, maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner. In most cases, such a feature will be contained within a recorded drainage easement (sometimes called a private drainage easement), but in some cases they are not. Drainage features or easement areas are often shared by two properties, thereby making maintenance responsibilities shared as well. Such areas may have been designed so that the stormwater flows on top of the ground, or it may have been designed with a pipe underneath the ground to convey water. Property owners are responsible for keeping these areas properly stabilized in order to prevent erosion. They are also responsible for ensuring that the flow of stormwater across the easement is not impeded. It may be necessary to use erosion control matting or other technique to help establish or re-establish vegetation in these areas. It is also important to keep these areas free of debris, large obstructing vegetation (such as trees), and structures such as fences or sheds and play equipment.


It is a legally established and defined area, on private or public property, that is reserved for the conveyance, containment or passage of surface or sub-surface drainage flows. Further, it is required on development and re-development projects within the County’s Planning Jurisdiction. These easements are typically private unless they are specifically dedicated to and accepted by the County. You can find evidence of easements on recorded plats through the Register of Deeds office.


For drainage problems involving State-maintained roads, please contact the NC Department of Transportation. Further, Guilford County does not maintain the stormwater drainage system within the unincorporated areas. Property owners are responsible for maintaining stormwater drains and structures on private property. In some instances, shared responsibility exists between multiple property owners. Regardless of the situation, staff will visit with property owners to evaluate problems and share technical information and advice.

To report a non-emergency problem involving flooding, erosion or other drainage matters within unincorporated Guilford County, please contact the Watershed Protection/Stormwater Management Section at (336) 641-5565.


Fill out a Drainage Complaint Resolution Form and submit it to Stormwater Management either by mail (see contact information for address), FAX (336) 641-6988, or by bringing the form to the Watershed Protection/Stormwater Management Section office: