How can water be diverted away from the street curb in front of my house? Several of my neighbors are draining water from their sump pumps onto the road and it runs down the curb and collects in front of my house. Leaves and water are constantly filling up the curb in front of my property. The opposite side of the street is dry but there's always water sitting in the curb in front of my house, even days after it has stopped raining. It's frustrating to open my mail box and accidentally drop a piece of mail into the water. Also had to ask my newspaper delivery person to stop throwing the newspaper on my driveway since it's constantly wet from run off from the neighbor's sump pump. Would it help to spread gravel or rocks along the curb? I live in the city limits and there are sewer drains at various locations along the streets.

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    You really can't. I've had low spots in front of several homes. It's a pain especially where winter occurs. Unless you can get your municipality to rework the curbing to flow properly, work around it.
    – isherwood
    Jan 22, 2019 at 21:47
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    And don't put debris on the street. That would probably violate local statues and cause a hassle for the street maintenance department.
    – isherwood
    Jan 22, 2019 at 21:47
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    Unfortunately, our street is fairly flat and it doesn't slope enough to carry the water to the drain at the end of the street. I did see a picture of a gutter which can be used on the curb - are you familiar with those?
    – Kathy
    Jan 24, 2019 at 17:56
  • @Kathy you could do a better job of removing the leaves from the gutter. Your curbing invites raking them onto your grass where they would beneficially decompose. Slimy decomposing leaves are a hazard to bicyclists and to walkers. I am in my late 70s and I recently slipped on a leafy, muddy sidewalk, falling flat on my face, barely avoiding injury. I was distractedly talking to someone, had my dog on a leash tethered to my waist and was using Nordic walking poles. As much as possible I avoid allowing any condition to exist on my property or in the street in front which could cause injury. Jan 29, 2023 at 22:09
  • @Kathy do not even consider placing anything in the gutter to move water along. It could lead to someone falling and you could be held responsible. Cars driving or parking could damage it, etc., etc. Jan 29, 2023 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


Sure you can get rid of the water, but it would take re-grading the street or adding additional pipes.

The street is in the right-of-way so you’ll need a permit and engineered drawings. We often take care of our clients roads, maintenance, etc., but it’s expensive once the City has screwed up the layout and paving.

You have a “low spot” that will need to be 1) raised, or 2) additional underground drainage added.

1) If there is adequate slope, a topping can be installed and re-contour the street so the water drains away. An engineer will need to survey the area and show the City how it could be done.

2) Additional pipes could be installed, but , again, an engineering company will need to show depth, slope of pipe, size of pipe, how to connect (and where) into existing storm pipe, etc.

  • Thanks for these suggestions. The curb has good size drop when driving off of my driveway onto the street - I've thought about filling it in with some cement to make it smoother and more even with the driveway. But I didn't want to do something unattractive..
    – Kathy
    Jan 24, 2019 at 18:03
  • @Kathy Don’t forget to get a permit from your City to work in the right-of-way. They’ll need to approve what you propose, or you could be liable for any accidents, etc.
    – Lee Sam
    Jan 24, 2019 at 18:25
  • @Kathy You don't want to modify the public infrastructure even if you could get permission from some department. You expose yourself to liability in case someone claims harm. Jan 29, 2023 at 21:52
  • One design for curbs is to have relatively low curbs which go right across front entry driveways. We live in an area with mostly high and steep curbs so there has to be a ramp for the driveway. Extra construction cost and maintainence. The sides of the ramps are subject to damage from tires hitting them. I much prefer the more gradual curbs. For one thing bicycles can go right over the curb to exit the roadway, saving injuries especially to kids. Jan 29, 2023 at 22:49
  • @Kathy don't put gravel next to the street to try to intercept water from your neigbhbor's sump pump. Gravel next to the street ends up in the street where it is a hazzard. Can the sump pump effluent be directed to the back of the lot or would that cause impermissible flow onto other property? Jan 29, 2023 at 23:01

Most people throw away leaves in their yard, but if you have an area in your back yard, and the water flows from your neighbors, take all the leaves, twigs, and grass clippings and spread them all over your yard. Take a rake and smooth them out, and continuously do this doing the fall if you have trees that shed a lot of leaves. Winter will break them down, and leaves will absorb a ton of water. After winter, get some mulch and spread it over the leaves, and then haul some topsoil and sand mix and then cover the mulch. These 3 things will build up your yard and help in the flooding of your yard. The cost is much cheaper than loads of sand in the long run.

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