5320 Palmer La., Suite 2A
Williamsburg, VA 23188
Hours of Operation
7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
What’s New in Stormwater
To learn how you can help lessen the impact of stormwater runoff, please visit:
Neighborhood drainage FAQs
What is a drainage system?
A drainage system is made up of a combination of swales, paved or grassed channels or ditches, pipes, inlets and drains that are designed to carry storm runoff safely and efficiently away from roads and buildings.
How do I find out who is responsible for fixing a drainage issue
The owner of the property where the drainage system is located is legally responsible for its maintenance. This includes all features of the system such as ditches and pipes. Ownership information is readily available. Log into Property Information to look up ownership of a parcel. The Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse maintains the official property records including plats, subdivision plats, deeds, easements and surveys. The Courthouse can be reached at 757-564-2242.
If I’m the responsible owner, where do I find help to fix the problem?
There are many reputable engineers and contractors available to provide assistance. Click here for a list.
If the owner is somebody else, how do I notify them of the problem
For issues related to a VDOT roadway, contact VDOT call 1-800-FOR-ROAD or 1-800-367-7623. VDOT also provides an online reporting form.
For issues on property owned by an Home Owners Association (HOA), contact the responsible HOA
I live in a neighborhood without a mandatory HOA. Who fixes any drainage problems
For problems located over 10 feet from the pavement edge, the responsible party is the property owner. If the problem is within 10 feet of the pavement edge, VDOT is likely the responsible party.
What can I do to maintain drains or culverts?
Keep drainage easements, ditches and culverts clear of debris and yard waste. Ditches are not disposal areas for leaves, grass clippings or pet wastes. These items cause problems in our waterways and reduce the ability of the system to remove storm runoff. Keep drainage easements clear of overgrown vegetation, fences and outbuildings. Anything in the easements can slow down water flow or cause runoff to over flow areas not intended for stormwater.
I want to change the drainage system on my property. Is there anything I need to know before I do?
Drainage systems cannot be modified in any way that blocks the flow of storm runoff, disturbs a stream buffer or violates other local, state or federal rules. The property owner is responsible for obtaining the necessary permits and approvals before beginning any work. Contact the Engineering and Resource Protection Division for information on permitting and regulations at 757-259-6670.
Why did the County stop the Neighborhood Drainage Program?
The Neighborhood Drainage Program, while helpful to many property owners dealing with drainage problems, is not a mandatory program. James City County, like other communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is obligated by state and federal law to reduce pollutants in Virginia waterways. In an effort to control costs, an evaluation was completed in 2014 as part of the budget process to ensure that the County is only providing mandated stormwater services.