Storm Water Maintenance

What Is Storm Water?

Storm water is rain water that does not soak into the ground. It flows into our storm drainage system without being treated or cleaned.

Managing storm water runoff is crucial to Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s quality of life. That includes maintaining and improving our storm water drainage system to reduce flood risks and pollution levels in our creeks and lakes.

Storm Water Maintenance Funding

The cost of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s storm water program is funded completely by a fee, not tax dollars. The fee is based on:

  1. How much each property contributes to storm water runoff 
  2. The cost of providing storm water services in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Storm water maintenance is required to provide a storm drainage system that is safe, clean, and cost-effective. The fees collected by Charlotte Water for storm water maintenance are also used to fund the Town's storm water maintenance program. Visit the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services website to lean how storm water fees are calculated.

Routine Maintenance

The Town routinely provides the following maintenance tasks within the right-of-way of Town maintained public streets and recorded public storm drainage easements:

  • Inspect drainage or flooding problems on public and private property to determine if they are caused by storm water runoff from a public street and are a qualifying problem, as described by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services
  • Work to resolve or reduce flooding problems. The highest priority are those with flooding of living space, damage or imminent damage to buildings where people live or work, or flooding that poses a threat to the traveling public
  • Remove fallen trees and large debris from creeks when those obstructions create a qualifying drainage problem
  • Clean storm drain pipes, catch basins and culverts
  • Repair or replace broken storm drainage pipes
  • Control severe creek bank erosion, when necessary, to protect water quality and adjacent properties
  • Repair sinkholes that occur over a drainage pipe system

What is a Storm Drain Easement?  Who Maintains It?

An easement is a permanent, legal agreement that provides the Town access to that area.   The homeowner owns the land and is responsible for all vegetation maintenance along the easement.  

Unqualified Storm Drainage Concerns

The following are examples of storm drainage items that typically do not qualify for storm water repairs:

  • Yard flooding
  • Drainage concerns caused by landscaping or yard grading
  • Standing water from groundwater conditions
  • Standing water in drainage channels
  • Roof/gutter drainage system concerns
  • Runoff from adjacent properties
  • Minor erosion
  • Developments with a certificate of occupancy one year old or less
  • Vacant properties
  • Any non-single-family development BMPs and maintenance (required by property owners) of post-construction / required facilities
  • Mitigation/stream restoration projects completed by others
  • Bury pits
  • Pipes and fill that should have been permitted but were not
  • Wetlands that do not adversely affect storm drainage systems

Report a Storm Water Concern

Submit a Maintenance Request form, or call Public Works 704-875-7007, to request the Town investigate a possible storm water concern along a Town-maintained street or a public drainage easements.  

Call Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services,  704-336-7600 or 3-1-1,  for concerns with a named streams or lakes (i.e. Catawba River, Lake Norman, McDowell Creek, etc.).  Or report a concern via their website or app.

Call North Carolina Department of Transportation, 980-523-0160 to report storm water concerns along state maintained roads.

Additional Information

For more information about protecting and restoring water quality in our storm sewer systems, creeks and lakes, including volunteer opportunities visit the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services website.

To report pollution, call 704-336-7600 or dial 3-1-1.