What are drainage easements and why are they important?
A drainage easement is a legal right to use a parcel of land for a specific purpose. In this case, orderly flow of water. They are essential for controlling stormwater runoff and often contain engineered best management practices. Drainage Easements help to clean stormwater before it can discharge into our local lakes, rivers, and streams. This system helps protect our waterways from harmful pollutants. Drainage easements can also help slow down stormwater run-off, which can reduce the likelihood of flooding.
Who maintains a drainage easement?
In general, the easement holder (property owner) has the duty to maintain the easement. This includes public drainage utility easements located on private property. Property owners are responsible for maintaining drainage easements located on their property in a neat and clean manner. Property owners must preserve the slope of the land to ensure proper drainage.
What happens if I do not maintain the easement?
The City or a contractor hired by the City has the right to enter the easement to fix and correct any issues at the property owner’s expense.
Can I install a fence or some other structure in an easement?
No. A property owner with a drainage easement is restricted from erecting both temporary (such as a shed) and permanent structures (such as a driveway) within the easement area. Such structures can reduce the efficiency of drainage and increase the possibility of flooding.
How do I know if there is an easement on my property?
You can go to the county register of deeds office and request to look at a map of the easement locations. A survey of the property will also show the location of utility easements.
Proper Discharge of Swimming Pool Water
Pool owners and operators can help protect our local streams and rivers by following these guidelines for draining (discharging) swimming pool water.
The City of Shelbyville prohibits the discharge of swimming pool water into public space. Chlorinated swimming pool water may not be discharged into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) or storm drain. The MS4 conveys water directly to rivers and streams, and chlorinated water can kill aquatic life. The penalty for a first offense is up to $1,000, and doubles for each subsequent offense. Please select one of the following two options below for discharging swimming pool water properly.
There are three options for draining your swimming pool. Please note that whichever method you choose, you must dechlorinate the water before draining occurs. Here’s how:
Dechlorinate naturally: Allow the water to it in the sun for 7-14 days without adding any chlorine
Chemical dechlorination additive - contact your local pool store for options. Verify water is dechlorinated with a pool testing kit.
Option 1: Your Lawn – the preferred discharge method
Drain dechlorinated water to a vegetated area (i.e. grass lawn, garden, etc.) or any area on your property that will allow the water to percolate into the ground if, and only if…
- You do not cause flooding of your neighbor’s property or any other adjacent property.
- The land area is sufficient to prevent erosion and runoff into a ditch, creek, or other conveyance (i.e. storm drain)
- You do not cause harm to the environment
Option 2: The sanitary sewer
Drain your pool to the sanitary sewer. Most in-ground pools have a drain line connected to the sanitary sewer that can be used once the pool water has been dechlorinated.
Please follow these steps:
- Locate the sanitary sewer cleanout on your property or an indoor drain such as a sink or bathtub.
- Using a hose, connect a siphon or sump pump that pumps no more than 20 gallons per minute.
- Pump the water from the pool or spa to the cleanout or indoor drain.
- Replace all cleanout covers when finished
DO NOT drain swimming pool or spa water to your SEPTIC SYSTEM as it may cause system failure.
What Is Stormwater?
Stormwater begins as rain. When it rains, water falls on both pervious (grass, woodlands, gardens and other undeveloped lands) and impervious surfaces (roofs, driveways, parking lots, streets, and other hard surfaces). Stormwater runoff is created from excess water that cannot be absorbed by pervious surfaces or from water flowing off impervious areas. Rather than being absorbed into the ground, rainwater enters the City's Stormwater drainage system, a network of catch basins, yard inlets and pipes, that keeps water from flooding roads and property. Water is diverted through the network to the City's rivers, streams, and lakes.
What Problems Can Stormwater Cause?
Stormwater can cause quality and quantity problems. Stormwater runoff picks up anything in its path and delivers it to our water resources. Pollutants including oil, yard waste, fertilizers, litter, and sediment can create Stormwater of poor quality which can harm our waters. Too much Stormwater is also harmful. In an area with natural ground cover, only 10% of rainwater becomes runoff. The rest is absorbed or evaporates. In urban areas, up to 55% of rainfall can become Stormwater runoff. This increased runoff in urban areas can cause flooding, erosion and property damage if not wisely managed.
Doesn't Stormwater Go To A Treatment Plant?
No. Unlike wastewater, which is treated before it is released back into the environment, Stormwater goes directly into a community's streams and lakes. Because Stormwater comes in large amounts at unpredictable times, treating it as wastewater would be very expensive. However, there are Best Management Practices (BMP's) which can reduce the impact of Stormwater.
What Are Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP's)?
BMP's can be structural including wet detention ponds, dry detention, bio retention areas, oil/water separators and constructed wetlands or non-structural such as pollution prevention programs and public education.
Doesn't Shelbyville Already Have A Stormwater Program?
Yes. Stormwater Management is currently practiced in the Shelbyville to minimize the impacts of new development. New development must comply with the Stormwater Drainage Ordinance, Flood Plain Requirements, Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control requirements.
Why Is The Stormwater Program Expanding Now?
To meet regulatory requirements from an un-funded mandate from the state and federal governments (Phase II MS4 permit), the State is requiring certain jurisdictions to better control Stormwater.
The city was issued its Permit on June 1, 2003.
What Can citizens do to ensure pollutants are not carried off by rainwater?
- Dispose of wastes properly
- Use the minimum amount of chemicals on your yard
- Do not fertilize prior to rain
- Keep your car well-maintained
- Use pesticides and herbicides according to the label
You can also route the flow from your impervious areas, roof gutters, driveways and sidewalks to natural areas on your property to help reduce the quantity of Stormwater runoff. Or, add rain barrels below your gutters to harvest rain for watering your plants (also helps conserve water).
What Are Some Things That Cannot Enter A Storm Drain?
- Oil, anti-freeze, paint, cleaning fluids
- Wash water from a commercial car wash
- Industrial discharges
- Contaminated foundation drains
- Wash waters from commercial / industrial activities
- Sanitary sewer discharges
- Washing machine discharges
- Chlorinated backwash and draining associated with swimming pools
What Can Enter A Storm Drain?
Unless the City has identified them as a source of pollutants to the “Waters of the State of Tennessee”, the following non-stormwater discharges into the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System are lawful:
- Discharges from emergency fire fighting activities
- Diverted screen flows
- Rising ground waters
- Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration to separate storm sewer systems (as defined by 40 CFR35.2005(20))
- Uncontaminated pumped groundwater
- Discharges from potable water sources as required for system maintenance
- Drinking water line flushing
- Foundation drains and pumps
- Air conditioning condensate
- Landscape irrigation
- Irrigation water
- Lawn watering
- Uncontaminated springs
- Water from crawl space pumps
- Uncontaminated footing drains and pumps
- Individual residential car washing
- Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands
- De-chlorinated swimming pool discharges
- Street wash waters resulting from normal street cleaning operations
Controlled flushing Stormwater conveyances (controlled by appropriate best management practices) Discharges within the constraints of a National Pollutant Discharges Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation