The Stormwater Management Division maintains stormwater drains in public rights-of-way. Property owners are responsible for maintaining stormwater drains and structures on private property. In some instances, shared responsibility exists and a project can be evaluated for the Drainage Assistance Program. Regardless of the situation, stormwater engineers will visit with property owners to evaluate problems and share technical advice.
What is the Drainage Assistance Program? Property owners with drainage problems may receive cost-sharing opportunities and assistance from the Town including technical advice, engineering design, maps, reports, construction services and project inspection depending on the cause of the drainage problem and the scope of the work. Drainage problems involving both public and private property are typically handled cooperatively by the Town and the property owner through the Drainage Assistance Program.
How do I sign up for the Drainage Assistance Program? Call the Stormwater Management Office at 919-969-7246 or email us at email@example.com to describe your drainage problem. Stormwater staff will schedule a time to meet with you onsite to evaluate your situation.
How does the Town decide which drainage assistance projects to undertake? Each project is prioritized according to a ranking form developed for this program. The projects that score the highest get first priority, based on available funds.
My neighbor's stormwater runoff floods my yard! Can you intervene for us? Drainage problems stemming from private property and/or associated with a dispute between two private property owners must be resolved by the property owner(s). If the problem involves a stormwater management facility or feature that was required by Town permit, the responsible party (e.g. homeowners' association) needs to undertake whatever measures necessary to correct the problem.
In private disputes the Town can provide technical assistance and/or information on upstream contributing areas, flow paths of streams and storm sewer lines, soils, topography, and other hydrologic information associated with the problem. Private consulting engineers and contractors can analyze situations and suggest solutions such as waterproofing, drains, ditches, and other methods. Most significant drainage improvements would require a Town development permit obtained through the Planning Department.
If regulatory compliance is involved, the Town may issue a notice of violation requiring that mitigation measures be taken by the responsible party or fines will be levied. Where stormwater is flowing from construction sites onto private property, the Town will investigate to ensure that the construction activity is in compliance with the development permit and associated regulations.
Note: As the amount of impervious surface area increases due to development in local watersheds, streams may flow at increasingly higher levels following storm events, and they may flow less during the dry season. The stormwater management provisions and requirements in the Town's Land Use Management Ordinance are intended to mitigate the effects of stormwater runoff resulting from new development and/or re-development.
Can I fill in a ditch, or pipe a small stream? Your "ditch" may in fact be either an ephemeral or an intermittent stream. It is against North Carolina law to fill these in or to impede the existing conveyance of water. You may be able to divert, re-direct or modify conveyances subject to stipulations included with a Town development permit, which you may request through the Planning Department.
Who maintains stormwater management features and facilities? Stormwater management features/facilities (i.e., level spreaders, detention ponds, bioretention cells) that are not located within dedicated and accepted public easements are not owned and operated by the Town, and must be privately maintained. Stormwater management features/facilities located on public land and/or within dedicated and accepted public easements are maintained by the public body (e.g. the Town or State) with ownership and jurisdiction.
What is a drainage easement?
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. You can find evidence of easements on recorded plats.