Engineering FAQs

  1. I have water standing in my yard whenever it rains. What can I do? What can the City do to help me?
  2. How do I get my swale piped in?
  3. The Contractor building on my street has muddied up the road. Who do I call to get it cleaned?
  4. Why do I get water in my basement?
  5. How do I find out if my home is in a floodplain?
  6. What is flood insurance and do I need to buy it?
  7. How do I find my sewer clean-outs?
  8. How does my house drain rainwater?
  9. How do I get the curb repaired in front of my house?
  10. How do I contact the Department?
  11. What are the dates and times for Planning Commission Meetings?
  12. What do I do if I have standing water in my back yard?
  13. Will the City come out and install a drain in my back yard?
  14. Do I need a permit if I want to fill in a low spot in my rear yard?

I have water standing in my yard whenever it rains. What can I do? What can the City do to help me?

Every property owner is responsible for drainage on their property. If an adjacent property has been regraded to drain onto your property, please call the Public Works Department to investigate.

All homes built since the early 1980s have been required to install rear yard drains. Grading to these drains is the responsibility of the property owner. In most cases, these drains are owned by the neighboring properties. If you have a drain, make sure that there is nothing covering the drain to prevent the water from draining. The City cannot legally come onto private property to install drainage. The property owner whose property accesses a storm sewer can install a drain at his/her own expense.

For answers to additional questions, please call the Public Works Department at 440-930-4101 to schedule a time to discuss available options.

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How do I get my swale piped in?

Requests for enclosing a swale must be made in writing to the Public Works Department.

There are two ways to have a swale enclosed:

  1. The Public Works Department can enclose the swale if the property owner agrees to pay for materials. If the Public Works Department can do the work, the property will be added to a list. It may take up to one year to complete the work due to heave backlog.
  2. A property owner can do the work with a contractor. He/she will need to obtain a right-of-way permit. There is no cost for the permit, but inspection by the Public Works Department is required.

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The Contractor building on my street has muddied up the road. Who do I call to get it cleaned?

Call the Public Works Department (440-930-4101) or Police Department (440-933-4567). Contractors are required to keep the streets clean as part of the City’s EPA requirements for storm water quality. Fines can be levied against drivers that muddy the roads, however, there must be a witness to the violation before action can be taken.

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Why do I get water in my basement?

Water in basements can be caused by several issues:

  1. The sanitary sewer has backed up;
  2. Your sump pump cannot keep up with the water or has failed;
  3. Your basement walls have cracks and water is infiltrating the walls and/or;
  4. The sewer line has tree roots that need to be cleaned.

Avon Lake Municipal Utilities has a 24-hour emergency number for residents. With the exception of the sewer main being blocked, all repairs and remedies are the responsibility of the property owner. The staff at both the Public Works Department and Avon Lake Regional Water can help residents determine the cause of the backups and recommend solutions.

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How do I find out if my home is in a floodplain?

FEMA is in the process of updating the Flood Maps in Ohio. Draft maps are available for viewing in the Public Works Department at City Hall, 150 Avon Belden Road. The new maps will become effective August 19, 2008. If your home is in a floodplain the Public Works Department can assist you in obtaining a Letter of Map Amendment if it can be established that the grade around your home is above the flood elevation set by FEMA. Flood insurance rates will increase substantially once the new maps become effective. If Flood Insurance is purchased prior to the new maps becoming effective your rates will be locked into the current rates and not the new rates.

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What is flood insurance and do I need to buy it?

Flood Insurance is required in areas where your home/property fall within what is called a 100 year floodplain. These areas are determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Statistically, when there occurs a 100 year frequency storm event, the ditches will back-up and cause flooding in these areas. Flood Insurance is required by FEMA in these designated areas. Flood Insurance is available to all property owners but is only required within 100 year floodplains. If you would like to know more or view the new maps that will become effective on August 19, 2008 please stop in at the Public Works Department at City Hall, 150 Avon Belden Road.

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How do I find my sewer clean-outs?

The City may not have an exact location for your sanitary and/or storm sewer clean-outs but the Public Works Department can provide locations of the sewer laterals in the street as a starting point. If your home was built after 1985 we should have locations as shown on the original grading plan for the house. Avon Lake Regional Water may offer to help for older homes, and can be reached at 440-933-6226.

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How does my house drain rainwater?

Not all streets in Avon Lake have designated storm sewers. In general, if your street does not have a storm sewer, Avon Lake Regional Water requires downspouts to be splashed onto the ground. In such cases, there is only one sewer in the street that takes rainwater and sanitary water. It is important on these “combined sewer” streets that we slow the rate of stormwater entering the sewer to prevent sewer backups into basements. If you have a further question about your home or street, please call the Public Works Department (440-930-4101) and we can show you maps of your street and answer questions on how to drain your property.

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How do I get the curb repaired in front of my house?

The Public Works Department prepares a list of yearly road repairs each February and March. The list is prioritized based upon severity of damage and budget concerns. Citizens can report poor road conditions to the Public Works Department throughout the year; however, in the event a report of poor road conditions is received after March, the road so reported cannot be repaired (unless there presents a critical safety issue) until the following year.

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How do I contact the Department?

We are located at City Hall, 150 Avon Belden Road (Northwest corner of Avon Belden Road and Electric Boulevard) in Avon Lake. Our office is on the first floor, immediately left after entering the main, front door. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm. Our phone number is 440-930-4101. Our FAX number is 930-4105. The e-mail address for the Public Works Director, Joe Reitz, is jrreitz@avonlake.org.

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What are the dates and times for Planning Commission Meetings?

The meetings are the first Tuesday of every month. The time frame for agendas varies. Please check the community calendar for meeting dates and times.

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What do I do if I have standing water in my back yard?

You can check to see if you have a rear yard drain. If you have a drain, make sure the drain is free and clear of all debris.

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Will the City come out and install a drain in my back yard?

Rear yard drainage is the responsibility of the property owner. On streets where there are either deep enough ditches or a designated storm sewer, the property owner can hire a contractor to install a rear yard drain.

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Do I need a permit if I want to fill in a low spot in my rear yard?

Yes! All properties are required to keep storm drainage from draining to neighboring properties. If your grading forces water onto a neighboring property, your permit request will be denied. Re-grading permits are $25 and ensure that your project will not adversely impact your neighbor.

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