Downspout Violations

As part of the City of Center Line's continued efforts to comply with Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Administrative Consent Orders (ACOs) over the past twenty years, City of Center Line ordinances, as well as State and Federal environmental laws, we are required to enforce all regulatory obligations of same. In 2000, the City of Center Line did pass an Engineering Standards Ordinance (which is available for public viewing on the Municode website). This ordinance clearly outlines the city's obligations to inspect and gain compliance from all property owners. Recent ACOs have resulted in the need for the City of Center Line to reinspect all properties to ensure that storm-water connections are in fact within compliance of all the above stated orders or laws. This is why many property owners have received notices.

Downspout Code

Included below is the specific code that requires property owners to ensure that downspouts run at least 5 feet from buildings, for your convenience. In the case with those property owners who do not believe they can comply with the 5 feet rule due to the downspout being on the "driveway side" of the building, it is recommended that you simply divert the water to the front or backyard (preferably onto grass or into landscape beds) using 45 and/or 90 degree extensions, or other diverters available at most hardware stores. Please see the below section of the Engineering Standards Ordinance that does require drainage water disposal to be piped to a point five feet away from the outside walls of any building. 

Section 601 - Site Grading & Drainage Water Collection & Disposal - Paragraph 8

Drainage water run-off from building roofs shall be piped to a point five feet away from the outside walls of any building. No drainage water run-off shall be allowed on adjacent property. Drainage water, sump pump water and/or ground water shall not be discharged to the sanitary sewer system. 

Holding Citizens Accountable

It should be noted that the city's failure to gain compliance from all property owners with regards to State and Federal environmental laws or ACOs can result in very large fines for both the city and/or property owners. We are simply doing our part to keep that from happening. The City Department of Public Works has received a large volume of calls due to this inspection program, and will return calls as quickly as possible with responses to your inquiries. We appreciate your patience and cooperation.

Dennis E. Champine City Manager/City Clerk City of Center Line


“Downspout Follow-up Compliance Inspections”

 “Did you receive a downspout non-compliance letter from the City of Center Line and are in need of a follow-up inspection?

 If you have addressed a downspout non-compliance issue, and wish to make an appointment for a re-inspection; or you simply wish to inform the city that you are in compliance and are ready for a re-inspection without an appointment, you may do so by calling 586-757-6800. Those wishing to schedule an appointment for the downspout re-inspection will receive a call back from the Ordinance Enforcement Officer within 72 hours.  Those not needing an appointment, will be reinspected when an Ordinance Enforcement Officer is able.  After re-inspection, property owners will receive a letter indicating compliance or further non-compliance.

 Those who are non-compliant with the requirements of the Downspout Inspection Program may be allowed more time if there is a financial or other personal hardship. Please communicate such hardships to a City Clerk or the Ordinance Enforcement Officer by calling 586-757-6800.

 The City of Center Line appreciates your continued patience as we all work to protect our environment!”