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Contact Information:


Stormwater Division

107 Tewning Rd.

Williamsburg, VA 23188


P: 757-259-1460
F: 757-259-4120





7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


To learn how you can help lessen the impact of stormwater runoff, please visit:


Quick Links


Stormwater Affects Everyone


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 services.

The Neighborhood Drainage Program, while helpful to many property owners dealing with drainage problems, is not a mandatory program. As a result, beginning July 1, 2014, the County-funded Neighborhood Drainage Program is closed. Staff and the Board of Supervisors will review the program over the next year to:

  • Determine consistent participation guidelines
  • Consider a cost-sharing policy
  • Reevaluate the project ranking criteria

Once these decisions are made, the Board will decide whether to fund this program in the future. The Stormwater Division will no longer accept requests for service under the Neighborhood Drainage Program or assist with drainage problems on private property. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and other information on this website for assistance. For questions or concerns regarding this policy, contact the General Services Department Director at 757-259-4127.

The Owner is Responsible for Drainage Systems in James City County

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. For assistance with a drainage problem:

Step 1 - Identify the owner of the drainage feature in question

Location of the Problem Drainage Feature

Likely Owner

Within 10 feet of the pavement edge on public streets

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

Over 10 feet from the pavement edge on public streets in a neighborhood with a mandatory homeowners’ association

The Homeowners’ Association (HOA)

Over 10 feet from the pavement edge on public streets in a neighborhood without a mandatory homeowners’ association

The property owner

Near or adjacent to the pavement edge on private streets

The private street owner

Within a dedicated drainage easement

The dedicated easement owner

Within an easement that is not dedicated to a specific owner

The property owner

In any location not listed above

The property owner

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.

Step 2 – Getting Assistance

  • 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 HOA, Contact the responsible HOA
  • For the property owner, there are many reputable contractors available to provide assistance. Click here for a list.


We All Have a Part in Maintaining Our Drainage Systems

  • Know how your neighborhood system works. Understand where the water goes and where problems could occur.
  • 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.
  • Consider others when planning property improvements – a home addition may turn into a neighbor’s drainage problem
  • Before and after heavy rains, check roof gutters and clear debris and rake or remove yard debris and trash from drains and inlets.


Changing or Improving a Drainage System

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.

Other Useful Contact Information

  • Call 911 for assistance with any life threatening flooding emergencies
  • Call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (VDOT) to report flooding of public roadways


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