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A county drain may be an open ditch, stream or underground pipe, retention pond or swale that conveys storm water. These drains become designated as county drains through a petition process where either property owners or a local city, village or township petitions the Water Resources Commissioner to establish a county drain. For more information, contact Water Resources at 734-222-6860.
Within County drainage districts, the Water Resources Commissioner is responsible for accounting of expenditures and financial statements, for maintaining records of the establishment and operation of each, and for conducting routine maintenance of the drains. Learn more on our County Drains page.
Drains, including roadside ditches, pipes, bridges and culverts under roads that drain state highways and county roads that are not designated County drains are maintained by the Washtenaw County Road Commission. Drain pipes that are not county drains and are not along roads may be the property owner's responsibility (i.e. in farm fields or parking lots). Creeks, streams or rivers that are not under our jurisdiction may be the responsibility of the County Environmental Services Department. Find more information on our County Drains page.
The Washtenaw County Office of the Water Resources Commissioner has some resources to help you locate your proximity to a County Drain. MapWashtenaw is Washtenaw County's Interactive Map Viewer; County Drainage, Drain Easements, Aerial Imagery, Property Lines, Roads and More are available to search and view from this Map Server. For more information, contact Water Resources at 734-222-6860.
Under the Inland Lake Level Act (Part 307 of P.A. 59 of 1995), a board of commissioners may file a petition in circuit court to establish a special assessment district to pay the costs of establishing and maintaining a lake level. The board of commissioners must file such petition if requested in writing by two-thirds of the freeholders owning lands abutting the lake.
The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners delegates administrative duties to the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner to oversee lake level projects. The Water Resources Commissioner must determine the apportionment of costs incurred and assess for maintenance of the lake level. Washtenaw County is involved with several lake level projects. Four Mile Lake, Horseshoe Lake, and Iron Lake are intracounty lake level projects. Hiland Chain of Lakes, Whitmore Lake and Portage-Baseline Lakes are intercounty lake level projects, jointly administered by the Washtenaw and Livingston County Water Resources Commissioners.
Section 24 of the Inland Lake Level Act requires inspection of all lake level control structures on all inland lakes that have normal levels established under this Act to be completed once every three years by a licensed professional engineer.Learn more about Portage-Baseline Lake Level.
The Michigan Drain Code is an act to codify the laws relating to:
View Act 40 of 1956.
For more information, contact Water Resources at 734-222-6860.
Under the Drain Code of 1956, the Water Resources Commissioner shall make a special assessment roll for the drain for each county, township, city, and/or village affected. These assessments cover many of the expenses of locating, establishing and constructing the drain, including maintenance of the drain. Visit our Speical Assessments page.
Circumstances may arise where you may want to petition the Office of the Washtenaw County Water Resource Commissioner for the establishment, construction, or maintenance of a County Drainage System or to establish a Legal Lake Level. Any questions regarding this process please call 734-222-6860.
To afford property owners, individuals, and governmental agencies greater efficiency, certainty, and consistency in the provision of relief for damages or physical injuries caused by a sewage disposal system event. Michigan Legislature passed new legislation regarding damages from sanitary and storm sewer events.
Public Act 170 of 1964, as amended by Public Act 222 of 2001, requires that if you are seeking compensation for personal injury or property damage, you must show that the county drain system had a defect; that an appropriate government agency knew, or reasonably should have known, about the defect; that the defect was not remedied by the government agency in a reasonable time; that the property damage or personal injury resulted because of the defect; and that you own and have related the value of the damaged personal property.
View Act 222 of Public Acts of 2001 (PDF) and view the fact sheet (PDF) or call 734-222-6860.
Visit our Report an Issue page to learn more about reporting illegal dumping.