Property Owner Drainage Responsibilities

Homeowners are ultimately responsible for rainwater that collects on their property since state law prohibits cities from making improvements on private land. However, if you have questions regarding private-property drainage, "lot-to-lot" drainage issues in which property owners might be experiencing problems due to a neighboring property, or Southlake's floodplain, let us know.

PW Streets and Drainage Projects

Section 9.02 of Southlake City Ordinance 605 outlines the maintenance responsibilities of drainage ways and drainage facilities:

A. Natural Drainageways and Drainage Easements With No Structures. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to routinely maintain all creeks, streams and natural drainageways and all unimproved drainage easements on his property This shall include periodic removal of fallen trees, limbs and underbrush, periodic rough mowing, removal of trash and debris and general upkeep to maintain a positive flow of stormwater within the drainageway or easement. The responsibility of the landowner hereunder shall not include any maintenance which requires specialized or heavy equipment

B. Drainage Easements With Surface Structures.  It shall be the responsibility of the city to maintain all surface structures within a drainage easement. The landowner shall maintain all portions of the drainage easement which are not improved in accordance with the requirements set forth in paragraph A above.

C. Bar Ditches and Culverts. Although these items are typically found in ROW dedicated to the City, maintenance of these items shall be the responsibility of the individual landowner This shall include periodic removal of underbrush, periodic rough mowing, removal of trash and debris, and general upkeep of the bar ditch or culvert to maintain a positive flow of stormwater within the bar ditch or culvert. Maintenance shall also include periodic cleaning of culverts to remove all sediment or other hindrances to the flow of water. Culverts shall be replaced by the owner should any structural failure in the culvert potentially impede the flow of water.

Neighborhood Ponds

Neighborhood ponds provide a tranquil atmosphere, while also serving as a drainage structure to retain water during times of excess rainfall. When fully functioning during and after a storm, ponds slowly release collected water to a nearby creek or stormwater system. This prevents water from releasing too fast, which could overwhelm downstream infrastructure and property.

In most instances, the homeowners association (HOA) is responsible for the neighborhood's stormwater pond. If you're unsure about who holds responsibility for the pond, check your subdivision plat or HOA declarations. You can also contact us. We're happy to help!

Preventing Drainage Issues on Your Property

  • Prevent litter and debris from entering easements and storm drainage systems.
  • Avoid raking, blowing or dumping leaves or grass clippings in the storm drainage system.
  • Keep drainage systems easily accessible during property repairs.
  • Do not obstruct drainage systems or pathways with privacy fencing.
  • Move structures and sheds away from drainage structures or easements.
  • Note any erosion and remove foreign objects from around your stormwater pond monthly. Have a professional engineer inspect your stormwater pond every one to two years.
  • Consider converting turf grass around your pond to a native plant buffer zone. Work with a landscape contractor to incorporate native plants to stabilize shorelines and deter geese.
  • Do not apply fertilizers and pesticides around your stormwater pond.

We're Here to Help!

We are here if problems arise or if you have questions. Call us during business hours at: 817-748-8098 or use the Southlake Serves portal.

  1. Public Works - Administration

    Physical Address
    1400 Main Street
    Southlake , TX 76092


    Emergency Phone: (817) 743-4522

Please use the Southlake Serves tool to report non-emergency residential issues, submit questions, or give feedback directly to the City for all departments.