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Commonwealth's Counties

Virginia Department of Transportation Asks for County Input on Orphan Drainage Outfalls Survey

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is seeking input from county governments to evaluate the scope of drainage outfalls without an assigned maintenance entity across the Commonwealth. These unassigned drainage systems, known colloquially as “orphaned outfalls,” may accumulate years of neglect and lack of maintenance. This type of unmaintained water drainage system can lead to severe erosion problems for some property owners directly impacted by them.

As previously reported, budget language from 2020 requested by VACo directs VDOT to evaluate the scope of drainage outfalls and recommend to the General Assembly cost-effective solutions and means in which to fund them. VACo has offered to facilitate this process and needs county governments help to clarify the scope of the problem and identify funding and policy solutions by answering a short survey VDOT has prepared in consultation with VACo. This survey was sent electronically to County Administrators and responses are due by June 11.

Once completed, information from the survey will be used to help compile a final report on the issue. The full text of the interim report which details this workplan may be viewed here. Questions about this survey should be directed to Chris Swanson at More information on drainage on Virginia’s roads can be found here.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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