Drainage Issue Frequently Asked Questions
Does my neighbor have the right to drain water onto my property?,
Generally, between owners of higher and lower land, the higher land has a right or easement over the lower land to flow water only in its natural state. If the water flowing from the upper land to the lower land occurs in a natural state, the lower land has a duty to accept it. However, if the flowage is directed, increased, concentrated or accelerated in any manner by the upper land, permission must be obtained from the lower land owner for flowage of water above and beyond the natural state. As every situation is different, you should seek the advice of an attorney if you have further questions.
Do I have the right to drain swales and wet areas on my property?,
Generally, a person can drain water off of his property and onto another property but only in its natural state. Further, you may be required to obtain a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality before some of the wet areas are drained. Also, you must obtain a permit before you can connect to a county drain or discharge water into a river or stream. You should seek the advice of both the Livingston County Drain Commissioner and an attorney prior to draining your property.