Roof Water Redirection

Keeping Rain Water Away From Your Home’s Foundation

The City of Columbus’ plan to keep rain water out of the sanitary sewers includes work to redirect downspouts. Our downspout repair efforts entail directing rain water away from the foundation of the house, and into a pipe leading to the street.

Why Redirect Roof Water Runoff?

Every time it rains, a large amount of that rain water flows off rooftops and into gutters. When a downspout ends at a splash block near the house, this water soaks through the ground and into the foundation drain. In homes built before the 1960s, the foundation drain connects directly to the sanitary sewer. Our improvements allow the redirected water to easily flow into the storm sewer system, which was built to manage rain water.

The Process

The four steps to our roof improvement and downspout redirection process are:

Investigating the roof

A survey team looks at each home to count downspouts and see where they drain, noting features such as patios or driveways around the home that could make redirection difficult. The investigation may include simulating a rain fall to determine drainage paths.

Designing the redirection

City teams will look at the findings for each home to determine which downspouts to redirect and where the rain water needs to go. Most of the time, the roof runoff will be redirected to a street or alley, where it can easily flow into a storm sewer. In most cases, redirection will not disrupt any permanent structures, such as patios and driveways.

Completing the redirection

A work crew will dig a shallow trench from the downspout to the street, or other discharge location, and install a new pipe. If the existing downspout is directly connected to the City sewer, it will be disconnected. In every case, the water will drain at least seven feet from your home.

Restoring the yard

Once the crew has finished, they will restore your yard, using the original turf when possible, or planting grass seed.

Post Roof Water Redirection Info Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the City redirecting roof water runoff in my neighborhood?

As part of Blueprint Columbus, the City will redirect downspouts in neighborhoods where a large amount of water is getting in the sanitary sewer from foundation drains. Downspouts will be redirected so rain water that runs off the roof will go out to the street and freely flow to the storm sewer, where it belongs.

Will my yard be dug up?

Yes, the City will need to dig a shallow trench from your house to the new discharge point for your downspouts. The yard will be restored when the work is completed.

Can I choose my own contractor?

No, the City will select the contractor and enter into an agreement with the contractor.

Why redirect roof water?

Downspouts that end near the foundation of a home provide a path for roof water to seep down to the home’s foundation drain. In older homes, these foundation drains are often connected to the sanitary sewer. This direct connection allows rain water to get into pipes designed to carry only sewage from our homes. Blueprint Columbus’ redirection program is designed to get as much of the roof water as possible away from the house, and keep it out of the sanitary sewer.

Who will maintain the new storm lateral when the work is done?

The homeowner remains responsible for maintenance of the storm lateral.

Will this cost me anything?

There are no direct costs to the homeowner. Blueprint Columbus is a solution to a problem that affects the entire community and is being paid for with revenue from City sewer bills.

Does every downspout need to be redirected?

City staff will look at each house to determine which downspouts can be feasibly redirected. It may be all or only some of the downspouts. For example, porches, patios or trees may prevent redirection.

Will this make my yard or basement wet?

The goal is to improve the drainage of the home so rain water flows away from the foundation. This should not affect your basement. If it is impractical to redirect the downspout out to the street, there may be some additional water directed to the yard, at least seven feet from your home.

Do I need to be home?

No, you do not. All work is done on the outside of the home. Homeowners will be notified before work begins on their property.


Contact Us

Have more questions about our plans? Take a look at our FAQ section, or contact us today!