Water – Storm Drains

WRC (Water Resource Commission)



WRC/ county drains


What is a County Drain?

“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 storm, water 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 at 248-858-0958”


Drain Code

THE DRAIN CODE OF 1956 – Act 40 of 1956

This is a long one. See Chapter 18 for “Chapter 18 Drains”


“AN ACT to codify the laws relating to the laying out of drainage districts, the consolidation of drainage districts, the construction and maintenance of drains, sewers, pumping equipment, bridges, culverts, fords, and the structures and mechanical devices to properly purify the flow of drains; to provide for flood control projects; to provide for water management, water management districts, and subdistricts, and for flood control and drainage projects within drainage districts; to provide for the assessment and collection of taxes; to provide for the investment of funds; to provide for the deposit of funds for future maintenance of drains; to authorize public corporations to impose taxes for the payment of assessments in anticipation of which bonds are issued; to provide for the issuance of bonds by drainage districts and for the pledge of the full faith and credit of counties for payment of the bonds; to authorize counties to impose taxes when necessary to pay principal and interest on bonds for which full faith and credit is pledged; to validate certain acts and bonds; and to prescribe penalties.”