City of Kenmore is responsible to routine inspection and maintenance of all public right-of-way drainage, public flow control/water quality facilities, and drainage lines with legally binding drainage easements. For the remainder of the drainage lines in the City, maintenance and ownership falls with the private property owners. Drainage lines on private property help contribute to the overall stormwater conveyance system and allow water to move off of properties, preventing flooding and damage to structures. Keeping up with maintenance is critical to the function and continued effectiveness of the drainage system.
When trying to decipher ownership of a private property drainage line, the best place to look is the neighborhood’s plat map. Often times, there are notes stating that the drainage is either privately maintained or dedicated to the City or King County. If the plat map is ambiguous, resources like King County Parcel Viewer, King County Records Search, or King County Assessor’s Map are useful tools for finding more information.
A conveyance system is primarily made up of catch basins, pipes, ditches, and manholes. No two systems are alike and a helpful tool for understanding what’s underground is the Surface Water Maps stormwater layer. Private conveyance systems will require routine inspection and maintenance for proper efficiency. Beginning an inspection program is an important part of owning a conveyance line.
Smaller systems include gutters, roof drains, downspouts, and yard drains. It is common for the household systems to directly tie into the street system and the water is then conveyed downstream to the neighborhood’s flow control/water quality facility.
In addition to conventional conveyance lines (catch basins, pipes, ditches) many commercial and residential developments have a flow control and/or water quality facility component. Knowing who is responsible for maintenance is critical to the function of the facility. If a residential development has a Homeowner’s Association, it is likely that maintenance responsibility lies with them. If not, it is also common to see the facility responsibility shared equally between the property owners who directly benefit from it.
For tips and general maintenance guidelines see the Private Stormwater Facility Maintenance Management Guide.