All precipitation falling from the sky, whether it is rain or snow, is considered storm water once it hits the ground. It is the responsibility of many government agencies and individual property owners to manage storm water.

Most, but not all, storm water drainage structures along county roads fall under the Washtenaw County Road Commission’s (WCRC) jurisdiction. Regulated county drains, which can be located near a road or far away from a road, are under the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s (WCWRC) jurisdiction. Cities and villages are responsible for public storm water management systems within city limits. Private developers and individual property owners have responsibility for private storm water systems.

If you notice water flooding over a county roadway, a clogged road drainage structure or a broken road drainage structure, please contact WCRC at (734) 761-1500 or click here to report non-emergency issues.

rain garden on Carpenter Rd

Community Partnerships

There are many simple steps the general public can take to help reduce storm water-based pollution, including picking up pet waste, proper disposal of motor oil or choosing phosphorous-free lawn fertilizer. WCRC is proud to partner with local watershed councils to reduce impacts on area watersheds and to better educate the public on the importance of these efforts.

To view more information about storm water management and public education materials, please visit:

Public Involvement Plan

Watershed planning is a multifaceted process that includes opportunities for public input.  The Washtenaw County Road Commission encourages the public to be aware of the watershed plan development process and take advantage of opportunities to provide input.

Click here to view the Huron River Watershed Council’s Watershed Management Plans

Illicit Discharge Elimination Program (IDEP)

Dumping wastes into storm drains, catch basins, or ditches carries pollutants directly to our waters and it is illegal!  Please report any illegal dumping.

Special Community Reporting Line for Suspected Non-Emergency Illicit Discharge: (734) 222-3880 

For Hazardous or Flammable Spills: Call 9-1-1 immediately

What is an Illicit Discharge or Connection?

An illicit discharge is any discharge to the storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of rainwater or groundwater.  Examples include dumping of motor vehicle fluids, household hazardous wastes, grass clippings, leaf litter, industrial waste, restaurant wastes or other non-storm water materials into a storm sewer system via a pipe or other direct connection.  Sources of illicit connections may include sanitary sewer taps, wash water from laundromats or car washes, and other similar sources.

How Do I Spot an Illicit Discharge or Connection?

  • Look for makeshift pipes or hoses that lead to storm drains or bodies of water.
  • Watch for stains, unusual odors, structural damage to streets or gutters and abnormal vegetative growth in nearby lakes and streams.
  • If you see an illicit discharge or connection, REPORT IT to your community. The Illicit Discharge and Connection Ordinance provides your community the legal authority to inspect and sample discharge, as well as enforce sanctions for violations.

For more, view the Michigan Department of Transportation’s “How to Deal with Illicit Discharge.”

Catch Basin Messaging

To deter illegal dumping into catch basins and other storm structures, the Washtenaw County Road Commission has installed the following decal on many existing structures. All newly installed catch basins and storm inlets are required to have the “No Dumping – Drains to Stream” language embossed into the casting.

Stream Crossing Sign Program

As part of an ongoing public education awareness initiative, the Washtenaw County Road Commission, in association with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office, continues its annual program of installing stream crossing signs.

The purpose of the signs is to promote awareness of the presence of a water body crossing a roadway and that the water body is an integral part of a watershed.  Hopefully, with increased awareness of these water bodies, the public will be more cognizant as to potential negative impacts of behaviors such as throwing waste or pollutants alongside the roadway.

Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping

Other pollution prevention measures conducted by WCRC:

  • Fleet Maintenance– regular maintenance and calibration of a fleet of 150 vehicles to reduce emissions, fuel consumption, eliminate drips, reduce the use of salt.
  • Snow Event Pre-Wetting of Salt–minimizes the use of road salt.
  • Street Sweeping Program– biannual program aims to reduce silt and debris infiltration into the storm sewer system.
  • Catch Basin Cleaning Program– annual program aims to reduce silt and debris infiltration into the storm sewer system and keep the system functioning properly.

Construction Storm Water Runoff Control

In accordance with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), the Washtenaw County Road Commission is an Authorized Public Agency (APA) for Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control.

WCRC employees who oversee and inspect WCRC construction and maintenance projects maintain Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) and Construction Storm Water Operator (CSWO) certification administered by the EGLE.  This ensures that construction plans include all appropriate SESC measures.  This also ensures the SESC measures are installed correctly and properly maintained throughout the duration of the WCRC project.

Citizens wishing to report concerns of soil erosion control measures on WCRC projects should contact the main office at (734) 761-1500, or via email at wcrc@wcroads.org

Post-Construction Water Management for New Development & Redevelopment

WCRC works closely with the WCWRC to ensure that new road development is in compliance with WCWRC requirements. WCRC’s Procedures and Regulations for Developing Public Roads and Procedures and Regulations for Permit Activities provide the guidelines to the extent that WCRC can legally regulate post construction water management for new development and redevelopment.