Stark SWCD is taking the following precautions: Staff members are working 8:00am-4:30pm and are available by email or phone . They are working in the office, conducting site inspections, or telecommuting, but are postponing duties that require travel and gatherings.



Stark Soil & Water

Ohio Drainage Laws


Drainage is defined in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 6117.01) as the flows from rainfall or otherwise produced by, or resulting from, the elements, stormwater discharges and releases or migrations of waters from properties, accumulations, flows, and overflows of water, including accelerated flows and runoffs, flooding and threats of flooding of properties and structures, and other surface and subsurface drainage. 


Ohio laws governing water rights are complex. Most drainage complaints involve private property and are managed as civil matters. No county or township agency has the authority to maintain or improve storm drainage facilities across an individual's property. At this time, the authority to issue orders or resolve conflicts over water rights or drainage problems between neighbors lies with the common pleas court.


Stark Soil and Water Conservation District is not a regulatory agency in this matter; therefore, we do not have the legal authority to make requests of property owners. Stark Soil & Water can provide guidance on drainage issues for individual landowners. The District will not mediate conflicts between neighboring landowners.

The County does not administer storm drainage facilities for private properties outside of the petition process which requires a bond with filing and property tax assessments to benefiting properties. The county petition ditch process provides a mechanism for landowners to cooperate with the Stark County Commissioners to solve drainage problems.