Heavy rains this spring have resulted often in drainage ditches and swales being inundated with more water than they can handle in a timely manner. Numerous homeowners have inquired if the HOA can do anything to improve the movement of water through these ditches and swales. In response to those inquiries, we offer the following information.
- The design and execution of the plan to control and divert stormwater in the Kensington Grove development was in accordance with State and County ordinances at the time the original plat map was approved. The subdivision was developed per State and County requirements and inspected continuously throughout development. ALL DRAINAGE met the requirements and passed all inspections.
- The Covenants and Restrictions clearly describe the duty of a Lot Owner to the maintain drainage ditches and swales. Covenants and Restriction, Exhibit D, Section. 9. Ditches and Swales and Erosion Control. “It shall be the duty of the Owner of any Lot on which any part of an open storm ditch or swale is situated to keep such portion thereof as may be situated upon his Lot continuously unobstructed (both by improvements and plant material) and in good repair (emphasis added), and to provide for the installation of such culverts upon said Lot as may be reasonably necessary. It shall be the duty of the Owner to establish as needed and to maintain all erosion control on his or her respective Lot.”
- Drainage ditches and swales are typically located within the Drainage and Utility Easements on each side of a lot – most often at the sides and back of the property. These easements vary in width depending on the location of the property but are minimally 7.5 feet wide for each adjoining lot. Drainage ditches and swales are usually V- or U-shaped depressions running the length of a property line that collect rainwater runoff and direct it toward beehive drains located periodically along the drainage ditch or swale.
- Water runs down-hill and carries particles of dirt with it thus recontouring the area surrounding a drainage ditch or swale. The ability of a drainage ditch or swale to effectively direct stormwater runoff is directly dependent upon its depth relative to the surrounding property and the slope of the ditch/swale from the highpoint of its collection area to its low point at the beehive drain. Backyard lots abutting a drainage ditch/swale are typically sloped to facilitate the movement of runoff toward the ditch/swale. Each year, the several inches of rain that this area receives results in the slow but discernable movement of soil downhill toward and into the drainage ditch/swale, thus filling in the ditch/swale and altering its depth and reducing its effectiveness and resulting in widening of the ‘pool’ of water along the path of drainage. Over the nearly two decades since the initial contouring of this development, there has likely been significant silting in of drainage ditches and swales.
The HOA Board of Directors encourages all our owners to evaluate their drainage problems, if any, with these points in mind.