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Drainage Investigations

Stormwater flow rates have accelerated with the increase of impervious surfaces (e.g., pavement and building roofs) due to urban development. Siltation, sedimentation, flooding, and water pollution result from greater stormwater flow rates. Coupled with these problems is that of an aging infrastructure, resulting in pipe failures.

The Stormwater Utility was established to help fund erosion repair and pipe replacement projects in that area and to ensure that new construction meets all run-off and its water quality requirements. The solutions to stormwater problems are complicated, far-reaching, and expensive, and the County is striving to acquire as much alternative (i.e., State or Federal) funding as possible.

Qualifying for Assistance

A significant number of drainage complaints are received and assessed by the Stormwater Utility Department. Although some minor problems are a nuisance to the property owner, they may not qualify for assistance from the Stormwater Utility Department. Drainage problems that are not the result of an inadequate drainage structure or a facility owned or maintained by Columbia County are not authorized County projects. For example, the following problems may not qualify for County assistance:

  • Stormwater runoff generated from roofs and or broken/leaky gutters or french drains on private property;

  • Low lying areas between homes and properties;

  • Stormwater runoff discharged from privately-owned facilities such as swales and berms onto private property;

  • Drainage problems resulting from a lack of maintenance of swales and berms;

  • Stormwater run-off accumulation caused by the slope of a property or inadequate grading by the previous or current property owner; or,

  • Areas designated as wetlands by the US Army Corps of Engineers or flood plains by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

If you feel that you have a drainage problem, we can conduct an evaluation to determine if you fall within the criteria for qualifying for assistance.  Please email our Customer Service Department or contact our office at 706-855-RAIN (7246) and an inspector will be sent out to assess the situation as soon as possible.