Citizen Guidance

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Support for Managing Stormwater

Committed to helping our customers address stormwater concerns, Town staff are available to provide technical guidance. Staff suggest strategies that a homeowner may implement to mitigate drainage issues though we do not provide engineering design or oversight services.

Typical concerns addressed include: 

  • Chronically wet areas in yard
  • Erosion at the inlet or outlet of a storm drain pipe
  • Broken or blocked storm drain pipes
  • Sinkhole on property
  • Yard erosion
  • Excessive water runoff affecting private property
  • Debris jam in drainage channel
  • Illegal/unknown discharge 
  • Landscape changes to property and permit requirements 
  • Stream erosion or maintenance
  • Home/driveway/yard flooding
  • FEMA/100-year floodplain
  • Stormwater drainage infrastructure 
Drainage FAQ

Schedule an on-site visit or call to discuss your concerns.


Todd Hoefler 
Senior Stormwater Engineering Technician
Water Resources Department
(919) 460-4934

Stormwater Infrastructure and your Property

The Town of Cary maintains stormwater infrastructure in the Town right-of-way and on Town-owned property. Any storm drainage infrastructure outside the right-of-way is the responsibility of the property owner as noted on the “Certificate of Ownership and Dedication,” required on all subdivision plats recorded in the Town of Cary.

Certificate of Ownership and Dedication

Drainage Easement and your Property

A drainage easement is an area identified on a survey plat delineating typical flow paths of stormwater runoff during a storm event (overland flow, in a ditch or in a pipe). It allows upstream property owners the right to drain stormwater runoff across downstream properties through the drainage easement.

An easement is the responsibility of the property owner and carries with it some usage limitations such as installing: 

  • Tennis and basketball courts/swimming pools;
  • Dams or anything that would block the flow of water;
  • Walls or other structures made of wood, brick or block;
  • Sheds or other buildings;
  • Fences obstructing flow of water;
  • Landscaping, such as raised beds or any
  • Other obstructions which would block water flow or interfere with storm drain pipe integrity or function.

The Town of Cary does not regulate lot drainage. Storm drainage issues between property owners is a civil matter. If you plan improvements or modifications to your landscape which impact the water flow, please take your neighbor’s property into consideration. Any land-disturbing activity that exceeds 1 acre requires a sediment and erosion control permit from the Town. 

If staff determine that a private property drainage problem was initiated by stormwater infrastructure on public property or within the Town right-of-way, the situation may be remedied through Policy Statement 146 (Storm Water Capital Improvement Requests).

Customers with drainage issues on private property in which residential structural damage has occurred as a result of flooding, severe erosion, or improper or broken storm drainage may be eligible for 50-50 cost share funds based on Policy Statement 35 (Storm Drainage Improvement Requests).


Billy Lee, PE 
Stormwater Engineering Manager 
Water Resources Department
(919) 462-3932

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