Drainage on Your Property
Property owners often wonder how to best manage drainage, if infrastructure is blocked, or why there’s water in the street or yard swales. The City offers a variety of resources and technical assistance for yard drainage.
When to Call
Similar to the region, the City’s piped storm infrastructure manages up to a 15 year, 20 minute storm event. When heavy, intense rainfall amounts exceeded that design standard, it is an expected and planned part of the system for most yard swales and streets to provide overland flow relief to help keep drainage away from home foundations (as shown in the photo).
If water does not recede within an hour or so after intense rain, or if surface water affects your home or parked vehicle, please call the Customer Service Center to route concerns efficiently to appropriate staff.
Remember – safety first! Use caution driving through flooded areas. The City can unblock storm drains and subdivision basin outfalls and investigate stormwater issues that may be public problems, such as:
- Public storm infrastructure maintenance;
- Standing water (72 hrs or longer) that cannot be resolved with finish grading;
- Issues causing a potential for loss of life or damage to public infrastructures or buildings;
- Conflict with emergency access;
- Potential for high risk stream bank erosion on multiple properties; or
- Potential for water quality degradation. Learn how to identify and report pollution.
If you have a public concern, please contact the City's Customer Service Center
Get inspired on your own property or common grounds! Check out these local projects make use of important water resources and even help resolve nuisances and maintenance issues.
Public vs. Private Responsibility
The City of Wentzville owns and maintains all public infrastructure (i.e. pipes, inlets, manholes, etc.) dedicated by the Board of Aldermen, within easements. Easements are typically on private property and granted for constructing and maintaining the improvements. Generally, property maintenance above and around public infrastructure is a private matter unless caused by a public infrastructure deficiency.
Per City ordinance and state law, the City only maintains public infrastructure, and cannot undertake drainage improvements on private property, unless an easement exists for public infrastructure. Generally, the following are privately owned and maintained, unless part of dedicated public infrastructure, or when an executed agreement otherwise obligates the City with responsibilities:
- Driveway culverts and approaches in right-of-way (Policy)
- Drainage across private property
- Drainage improvements such as French drains, gutter and sump pump extensions, rain gardens
- Common grounds
- Detention, retention and water quality facilities
- Streams, stream banks, and floodplains
- Mitigation Areas
Record plats and subdivision covenants may outline responsibilities or restrictions, such as grounds maintenance, drainage, debris and vegetation management, or pollution prevention. Annual inspections and maintenance by property owners are recommended to ensure proper function.
Tips for Drainage on Your Property
- Make sure the ground and downspouts slope away from foundations.
- Keep fencing slightly above drainage areas, rather than at ground level.
- Ensure yard drainage is not diverted or blocked (by patios, pools, planters, sheds).
- Routinely inspect and remove debris such as leaves from stormwater structures.
If your home is new, your developer may help resolve finish grading issues. If not, here are options to manage problematic areas:
- Try rain gardening or installing a french drain to bring the water below the surface.
- Install a rain barrel to collect water from downspouts and use it to water your landscaping. How to Build and Install a Rain Barrel Slideshow
- Secret of My Soggy Success (Homeowners' Association Symposium presentation)
If water is causing erosion, feel free to contact us to help determine the source and recommend solutions.
Detention & Retention Basins
A Note about Buying Property
It pays to do research before buying property, since you may be financially responsible for drainage or erosion issues. The City Public Works and Community Development departments are available to assist you with any questions. Please contact the Customer Service Center. The St. Charles County Soil & Water Conservation District also has free soil surveys and offers technical assistance; call (636) 922-2833.
Make Your Home a Solution to Pollution!
Click here to learn more about making your home a solution for pollution!