What are the Drainage Requirements for Private Roads?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

The gas company just put in a new road leading back into the woods next to the trailer park where we live. Since they did this,  all of the lots next to the road (8 of them) are all flooded constantly for weeks when it rains. Is that legal? I personally own two lots and they are always so wet that they’ve become useless, so we stay in the house or up on the deck where it’s dry. Shouldn’t they have had to build some kind of drainage or something in the road to prevent this?

It sounds like the road is a private road, which means that the city, county, or state did not build it for public access. However, city, county, or state regulations probably still apply to how the road is designed, particularly in the case of drainage issues. The company either owns the land or has an easement to build the road, but neither situation allows the company to damage the surrounding property. If the lots are all separately owned, you all can individually or collectively approach the gas company for a resolution to the situation. You can also contact the planning or engineering department of whatever government authority applies to your area and inform them of the issue directly. If there’s a violation of regulations, they’ll work with the gas company to resolve them.

If the problem persists, you may consider pursuing the gas company for damages to your property due to the flooding. You can also pursue the gas company for public and/or private nuisance. These are options that a property attorney can go over with you.