Driveway culvert maintenance, who’s responsibility is it?

Posted on September 26, 2023

Drainage culvert made of concrete, covered by grass overgrowth and in need of maintenance.

Did you know that pavement damage, soil erosion, and mudslides can be caused by blocked stormwater flow across driveways or under driveways via culverts? If leaves or other waste block the flow of stormwater runoff, then the water gets redirected and can cause serious flooding and/or localized erosion. Those issues can lead to road closures and subsequent need for repair projects. Road repairs from these types of issues can be expensive and are paid for by your County tax dollars. You can help prevent such damage and cost to the public by doing the following things:

  • Routinely inspecting and clearing your driveway culvert and/or drainage system
  • Reducing the amount of debris that reaches the street in the first place. This means clearing the drains around your home including roof gutters, drain inlets, downspouts, pipes, and drainage ditches.
  • Always put green waste (such as yard waste like, cut grass, dead leaves and branches) into the compost bin where is can be disposed of properly.
  • Late summer and into early fall is the best time to take action and do your part before the rainy season starts.

Who’s responsibility is it?

It is the responsibility of property owners to maintain drainage infrastructure constructed for private property access (e.g., driveway culverts and inlets).  Not clearing debris and maintaining the drainage infrastructure could result in property damage that the property owners could be held responsible for.

For more information about these requirements, please see the Marin County Code:

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