Credit: Albemarle County
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and property owners both play an important role in preventing drainage problems, which can cause dangerous flooding on roads, as well as premature roadway deterioration. 

Now that fall is here, so are the leaves and the big job of removing them. As they start to fall, leaves drift into ditches and culverts, clogging drain pipes. Here’s what property owners can do to help maintain good drainage:

    Keep debris such as leaves and grass clippings out of open channels, ditches, driveway pipes or any other location that could block the free flow of stormwater runoff.

    Prevent the discharge of pollutants, including pet waste and fertilizers, into the drainage system. 

    Maintain all drainage facilities on private property when there is no VDOT, county or city right of way.

    Respect your neighbor’s property- leaves or debris can drift from one property to another, causing drainage problems for neighbors.

VDOT works to keep ditches, culverts, drains and other drainage systems located on state-owned right of ways and easements maintained and clear of debris. VDOT also responds to flooding or standing water, but only when it affects a state-maintained road or state-owned right of way. In addition, the agency replaces damaged or deficient storm sewer pipes and culverts, and conducts inspections on stormwater facilities.

If problems continue after taking these steps, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623). VDOT will research inquiries and determine who has responsibility over the area of concern. See Drainage on Virginia’s Roads for more information.