A county drain may be an open ditch, stream or underground pipe, retention pond or swale that conveys storm water. These drains become designated county drains through a petition process. Either property owners or a local municipality can petition the Water Resources Commissoner to establish a county drain.
The Water Resources Commissioner and his staff respond to flooding situations involving designated county drains.
Public Act 222 of 2001 states: If you experience an overflow or backup of a storm water sytem, you must file a written claim with the Calhoun County Water Resources Commissioner's Office within 45 days the overflow or backup was discovered. Notice should be mailed to:
Calhoun County Water Resources Commissioner
315 W. Green Street
Marshall, MI 49068
Failure to provide the required notice will prevent recovery of damages. Contact the Calhoun County Water Resources Commissioner's Office at (269) 781-0790 immediately upon discovery of an overflow or backup.
If you have any maintenance issues regarding a county drain contact the Water Resources Commissioner's Office at (269) 781-0790 or by e-mail. You may also contact our Drain Inspector/Coordinator at (269) 781-0791 or by e-mail. Please be sure to indicate exact location of problem, your name and a telephone number at which you can be reached.
Easements are granted to the Water Resources Commissioner along all designated county drains for the purpose of allowing access to operate, maintain or repair the drain. Property owners retain ownership, but are restricted from building permanent structures that may impede drain maintenance within the easement area. This includes, but is not limited to, swimming pools, sheds, garages, patios, decks, fences or any landscaping feature that may interfere with drainage. Drainage swales may not be filled in. Easement width varies from drain to drain depending on the drain size and type. Some are of an unspecified width or sufficient ground on either side of the centerline of the drain.
Easements obtained prior to 1956 were not required by law to be recorded with the County Register of Deeds Office and are considered properly recorded if they are on file in the County Water Resources Commissioner's Office. Easements obtained after 1956 are required to be recorded at the County Register of Deeds Office and are also on file at the County Water Resources Commissioner's Office. It is important to check with both offices to determine if a drainage easement exists on your property.
Department of Environmental Quality Wetlands Division (DEQ) - 269-567-3500