Home Owner's Association Corner

Drainage Maintenance

Development projects are designed with specific drainage patterns. Homeowners should maintain and not interfere with any planned drainage patterns. Many stormwater systems are privately owned, including all stormwater ponds. HOAs should periodically inspect their stormwater drainage systems, including ponds, pipes, swales, and ditches. Routine inspections can reveal maintenance needs or minor problems before they become major headaches.

Horry County will periodically inspect neighborhood drainage systems and provide reports to the HOA or property owner. HOAs should prepare for anticipated storms by inspecting their stormwater drainage systems before any storm danger is near. To ensure your safety, do not conduct inspections during a storm. Drainage disputes between neighboring property owners are not uncommon.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do keep ditches and swales clear of debris, yard waste, and trash
  • Do keep storm drains free of leaves and other blockages zzzz
  • Don't install sheds, fences, landscaping, or other structures in drainage easements, drainage swales or ditches, or around storm drains
  • Don't regrade yards in a way that blocks drainage swales or ditches
  • Don't place wire or other barriers over the ends of pipes as this may cause a debris trap
  • Don't dispose of paint, oil, grease, chemicals or other wastes in storm drains - it is not treated before it drains to streams, rivers or the ocean
  • Don't connect septic tanks, washing machines, or other plumbing to the drainage system, including ditches
  • Do report any drainage problem or illegal discharge to the Horry County Road and Drainage Hotline at 843-381-8000.

Easements and Encroachments

Drainage easements are put in place to maintain drainage infrastructure, some of which may be underground. Drainage easements may be public or private and afford the easement holder the right to access the property for only what is expressly enumerate in the easement. Drainage easements typically dictate thing like the repair or maintain drainage infrastructure. The landowner maintains ownership of the property. The size of an easement is determined by the type of infrastructure within the easement and the type of equipment or materials that may be needed to fix a problem. Encroachments into an easement may interfere with easement access and must be specifically permitted by the easement holder. If a resident would like to do some work in an easement assigned to the county or a "public easement" for example, they would have to submit an encroachment permit to the county. This permit includes things such as location of the site (w/ map), type of material or structure to be put in the easement (w/ map), property owner, contact information, and description of the work to be performed. The encroachment must be signed by the owner of the property. NO second party signatures will be accepted. Click here for an Horry County encroachment permit form that may be used as a template. It is encouraged for the HOA to use a similar form and the residents use this form to provide you the most accurate information about their project as possible so you may make the best decisions for your community.