What Are Storm Drainage Easements?

Posted On: August 08, 2023

Water flowing heavily from old pipe into runoff pondUnderstanding storm drainage easements is essential if you own a commercial property. These legal agreements grant the government the right to use a portion of your land for water management purposes. While they might seem straightforward, there are crucial details you should be aware of before agreeing to such easements. Our stormwater management experts break down the concept of storm drainage easements, their permanence, ownership, and implications for your business.

Need expert knowledge or stormwater management service in PA, DE, or the DMV? Contact iSTORMWATER online or call us at (443) 699-2828.

The Basics of Storm Drainage Easements

In general terms, an easement is a right granted by one property owner to another for a specific use of a portion of the owner’s land. Storm drainage easements are a type of utility easement that allows the government to access and use a particular part of your property to manage water drainage. Like most utility easements, storm drainage easements are permanent, meaning they continue to exist even if you sell the property to someone else.

Ownership and Maintenance

It’s crucial to understand that while you grant the easement, you still retain ownership of the land. The government or county responsible for the drainage system holds specific rights to access and use the designated area. However, as the property owner, you are responsible for routine grounds maintenance within the easement area, such as grass mowing and debris removal. Additionally, any trees, shrubs, or other growth within the easement are your responsibility to maintain.

How To Tell if You Have One

To find out if there is a storm drainage easement on your property, you can check the plat you received when you purchased your property. These easements are also recorded in government land records. As a business owner, it’s vital to be aware of any existing drainage easements as they may impact how you use your land and give the government the right to access and work on the area whenever necessary.

Permanence of Drainage Easements

Most storm drainage easements are considered permanent. Once established, the easement is secured in writing and recorded in the county’s register of deeds, making it a permanent part of the property’s deed. The easement transfers with the property, meaning it will affect all future owners unless the government officially abandons the easement, which is rare.

Seek Legal Advice Before Agreeing to an Easement

Before agreeing to a storm drainage easement, consulting with an attorney specializing in property rights and easements is crucial. Easements can have significant implications, and granting access to your land might affect your business’s operations or future development plans. A knowledgeable attorney can help you fully understand the legal ramifications and negotiate any necessary terms to protect your business interests.

Call iSTORMWATER at (443) 699-2828 to schedule an appointment for all your stormwater management needs in the DMV, PA, or DE.


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