Mitigating Excessive Water

It is normal for water from rain or irrigation to occasionally flow over sidewalks. Downspouts, drainage swales and lot grading are all designed to manage water flowing through your property and potentially over the sidewalk toward the storm drain. However, if water flowing over the sidewalk becomes excessive, it is not only unsightly and wasteful, it can create undesirable conditions. If excessive water creates a hazard, such as algae and ice, per Town Code, it is the property owner’s responsibility to remove the hazard. 

Fortunately, there are several easy steps you can take to reduce or eliminate this excessive water. 

Quick links:

Excessive water over sidewalk with algae

Reduce irrigation

The No. 1 reason for excessive water is overwatering, but it is often due to several neighbors’ irrigation practices. Reduce watering in the zones near the excess water source. Use the run-time calculator for an estimated run time and use the cycle and soak method to help irrigation soak deeper into the ground. Look to neighboring properties for overwatering and drainage issues and talk with neighbors to help mitigate the issue.

Look for leaks

Walk your property before and during irrigation to check for broken irrigation equipment and saturated spots. Use this video to learn how to use your water meter to identify if there are leaks in your irrigation system.

Ensure good drainage

Downspout discharges are designed to flow water through the landscape. Proper alignment of downspouts and drainage swales should be maintained and not obstructed by landscaping or sidewalks. Do not combine downspouts with sump pump outlets and instead redirect them through the yard. It is normal to see water flowing up to a week or longer after a snow or rain storm.

Work with your neighbors

If you have excessive water over your sidewalk, you are probably not alone in the excessive water conditions. Talk with your neighbors, HOA and builder, if applicable, about each of these mitigation actions.

Wait for mature landscaping

Especially in new neighborhoods, there is overwatering to get lawns established and plants and trees have not grown to prevent erosion issues. In many cases, excessive water will reduce naturally as landscaping grows and absorbs this water.

Swales Illustration
Gutter Swale and downspouts

Mitigate dangerous situations

Eliminate algae buildup

Eliminate algae buildup by reducing fertilizer application and irrigation times.

Remove snow and ice frequently

Place the snow from your driveway and sidewalk in your yard. Additionally, remove the snow from the gutter. These actions will allow easier drainage to the stormdrain and help prevent ice blockages. Reduce ice accumulation by clearing snow and ice often.

The Town plows select roads

Roads are plowed for emergency purposes to allow emergency vehicles to get through and not the benefit of individual homeowners. Roads are plowed according to priority based on need. Primary roads are cleared first, followed by bus routes. Individual roads in neighborhoods are generally not plowed by the Town. There is a priority system to identify when and where roads are plowed and can be found at Info.