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Discharging Water on County Roads is Against the Law and Causes Serious Public Safety Hazards

Annapolis, Maryland (February 12, 2019) – Anne Arundel County officials are reminding citizens that discharging water from downspouts or groundwater from sump pumps on any county road is a violation of the Anne Arundel County Code.

“It is important that residents comply with the Code to minimize potential hazardous conditions for pedestrians and motorists,” said Department of Public Works Director Christopher Phipps.  “Our roadways, sewer systems, and storm drain systems are not designed to carry additional flows.”

§13-2-206. Discharging water into roads

A person may not empty, discharge, or cause or allow to be emptied or discharged from premises occupied by the person directly or indirectly, to or on any county road a liquid other than rainwater flowing in its natural course.

Suggested Discharge Locations and Techniques

Relocate downspout or sump pump discharges: 

Relocate discharges so that it discharges a minimum of ten feet from the property line adjacent to a street or sidewalk. 

French drains or discharge wells: 

Water may be dissipated by using underground perforated drains or rock filled wells that distribute and allow water to percolate into the surrounding soil. 

Rain Gardens:

Downspout or sump pump discharges may be directed to small depressed garden areas to facilitate infiltration.

Rain Barrels:

Connect a rain barrel to a downspout or sump pump for future watering of lawns and gardens.


For more information, contact Bureau of Highways Right-of-Way Management at (410) 222-7344.
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