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As part of The Register's Ask It Madison County series, one Berea resident had a question of who is responsible for maintaining the culverts that storm drains empty out into.

The Register spoke with directors of the departments within the county and cities to determine who is responsible for the drainage mechanisms maintenance.


In Berea, culverts and storm drains are maintained by the Public Works Department, according to director Donnie Davidson.

He told The Register if the culverts are in the city's right of way, the city is responsible for cleaning and replacing them. However, if the culvert or drain is on private property, responsibility lies with the property owner.

Davidson reported the culverts are checked each time the city looks over storm drains, but with so many in town, they try to do it every month or so.

"We go out when people call," he said. "Most of the time they call in and let us know it is stopped up or in bad shape."

He said depending on the season and the specific culvert, they can be in bad shape and need a full replacement.

Usually, the public works department sees issues if culverts are stopped up with leaves, or if the bottom is rusted on galvanized culverts.

"It all depends on the area, if it is a rainy season and if there is good drainage," he said. "If there is a lot of water, they will rust out pretty quick."

If any Berea resident has a question or needs a culvert maintenance, call the Berea public works department at 859-986-8792.


Stacy Curtis, the public works director for the city of Richmond, had statements similar to Davidson's that any city culvert is maintained by the department, and the culverts are checked after a heavy rain to be cleaned out.

"When it is raining, we go in and check them and clean them out if they are stopped up," Curtis said. "Or if we see one that has a hole in it, we replace it, or if someone comes with a complaint, that is when we go out there."

Curtis noted this year is typically when the department sees a lot of drains stopped up with the leaves falling and rain.

To report an issue with a drain or culvert in Richmond, the public works department can be reached at 625-6435.

Madison County

For Madison County, culverts and drains are maintained through the road department only servicing culverts located on county roads, according to Melissa Settles.

She stated in an email that culverts are identified in two ways. The first is through regular review by the Madison County road superintendent and the second is through individuals' requests.

Settles told The Register, culverts are checked continually, and some issues the department sees regularly are rusted culverts, old infrastructure and blockages of debris.

For those who need help or have questions about a culvert or drain, a work order request can be submitted online at

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.

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