County Drains

A County Drain may be an open ditch, stream or underground pipe, retention pond or swale that conveys storm water. These drains become designated as County Drains through a process where a local city, village or township petitions the Water Resources Commissioner to establish a County Drain. In some cases, property owners may also file petitions to establish Drains under the County's jurisdiction based upon the Drain Code of 1956, Act 40. This Drain Code established by the State of Michigan is the guideline followed by the Water Resources Commissioner in the operations and classification of drain systems in Oakland County.

Not all drains are County Drains.

There are other drains in Oakland County, including roadside ditches, pipes and culverts under roads that drain state highways and county roads. These are maintained by the Oakland County Road Commission and/or local public works departments. Some local municipalities (cities, villages and townships of Oakland County) maintain and operate their own stormwater and sewer lines, and have public works departments that handle requests and information about those services.

In addition, drain systems that are not County drains and are not along roads may also be the property owners' responsibility.

To determine if a drain is part of the County Drain system, please contact our office.

​Special Assessments for Chapter 4 Drains

The Drain Code Act 40 of 1956 gives the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner powers and responsibilities to govern legally established drainage systems within the county. One of the many duties of the water resources commissioner includes maintaining existing drains and establishing or constructing new drains. To fund this work, the Drain Code provides for the enacting of a special assessment roll for county-established drains for the residents and each township, city and village affected by the drain.

The dates for the day of review for new special assessment rolls can be found on our Public Meetings page. The day of review will take place from 9am - 5pm at the Water Resources Commissioner's Office.

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