Skip to Content

Stormwater Maintenance

Metro Water Services maintains the public stormwater system to prevent flooding in the public right of way, such as public streets and sidewalks, during a normal rain. This system is designed to handle typical amounts of rain and may not be able to handle flash flooding or larger flooding events.

Our system includes:

  • 47,000 storm drains, manholes, and driveway pipes
  • 3,200 miles of ditches and drainage channels
  • 830 miles of drainage pipes

Services We Manage

To ensure the public stormwater system is working properly, we manage:

  • Flooding to the public roadway
  • Fallen trees blocking the flow of draining water
  • Severe erosion impacting or threatening public utilities or public roadway
  • Roadside ditches and driveway pipes
  • Drains under the roadway
  • Clogged storm drains

More detailed information on these services is available in our Routine Maintenance Operating Policies.

Services We Do Not Manage

Some stormwater concerns, typically those that do not affect public safety, are not managed by Metro Water Services and are therefore the responsibility of the property owner such as:

  • Removal of weeds and vegetation
  • Mowing ditches
  • Fallen trees not blocking the flow of draining water
  • Mosquitoes (Visit Metro Nashville Department of Health)
  • Stormwater runoff from one private property to another private property
  • Underground springs or groundwater
  • Flooding caused by being near or in a floodplain
  • Sinkholes on private property and/or not affecting public utilities or public roadways

Managing Stormwater on Your Property

Property owners are responsible for managing and maintaining stormwater issues affecting their private property. Below are a few ways you can help reduce the impact of stormwater and protect your property.

Reduce Stormwater Runoff

  • Re-direct downspouts – direct downspouts away from impervious surfaces and towards an area where water is able to soak into the ground
  • Plant a rain garden – rain gardens collect and slow the flow of stormwater runoff.
  • Install a rain barrel – rain barrels collect and store rainwater that can be reused to water lawns and gardens.
  • Plant trees – trees work in two ways to help reduce stormwater runoff. In addition to absorbing stormwater, leaves and branches intercept and store rain to delay the flow of stormwater runoff.
  • Adopt A Storm Drain – keeping storm drains free of clogs will keep water flowing away from your property. Watch our Adopt-A-Storm Drain video for more information and safety tips.

Protect Your Property

  • Elevate or relocate service equipment – in the event of a flood, electrical, HVAC, or other service equipment can be protected by elevating or relocating to an area not likely to be affected by flooding.
  • Install a sump pump – sump pumps help keep basements and crawls spaces dry by pumping water out of areas vulnerable to flooding or groundwater.
  • Install a flood barrier – flood barriers prevent water from entering areas such as doors, windows or crawl spaces. Flood barriers are available online or from your local hardware store.
  • Get flood insurance – the best way to protect your property from flood damage is to get flood insurance. Flood insurance is available to everyone in Metro Nashville and Davidson County.

These are just a few of the ways you can help protect your property and reduce stormwater runoff. For more detailed information on these and other options for property owners, download Flood Education and Safety: What you Can Do.