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Site Infrastructure

Site infrastructure is owned by a governmental entity, a private entity, or is part of the "common area" owned by an HOA.

Roads and Alleys

Roadways and alleys can either be public or privately owned by the Homeowners Association.

PUBLIC ROADWAYS OR ALLEYS:


  • Boundary lines on either side of the roadway are referred to as the street Right-of-Way (R.O.W.)

  • The area between the boundary lines of a roadway typically includes sidewalks, curb & gutter, ditches,  street lighting, and landscaping.

  • Underground utilities, such as sanitary sewers, water lines, storm sewers, telecommunications, electrical, and gas lines, are located within the street Right-of-Way either under the pavement or along the pavement.

  • Utilities within a Right-of-Way do not need an easement.  Roadway surfaces within the street Right-of-Way are maintained by the local governmental jurisdiction.  In many government jurisdictions, the burden of maintenance of trees, sidewalks, retaining walls, and landscaping within the street Right-of-Way is placed on adjacent property owners.  It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so it is best to contact your local City or County for clarity.


PRIVATE ROADWAYS OR ALLEYS:


  • Private roadways and alleys may be owned by a specific homeowner or may be located within "Tracts," which are owned by the Homeowner's Association as part of the common area.


  • Public utilities, such as sanitary sewers, water lines, storm sewers, telecommunications, electrical, and gas lines located under private roadways and alleys, must be within easements.

  • Individual homeowners or Homeowner's Association maintain the private roadways and alleys.  Public utilities in the private roadways and alleys are maintained by the entity, such as a district, city, or county that owns them.

Sidewalks

Sidewalks can either be public or privately owned by the Homeowners Association.


PUBLIC SIDEWALKS:


  • Public sidewalks can be located either within the street Right-of-Way or on private property.  Public sidewalks located on private property must be located within an easement.

  • Some sidewalks are within easements as part of public regional trail systems.

  • Who maintains a public sidewalk often depends on factors such as ownership and access rights.

  • In many government jurisdictions, the burden of maintenance of public sidewalks in the street Right-of-Way has been legally shifted to adjacent property owners.  This varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction to the area, so it is best to contact your local City or County for clarity.


PRIVATE SIDEWALKS:


  • Private sidewalks alleys may be owned by a specific homeowner or may be located within Tracts that the Homeowner's Association owns as part of the common area.

  • Public utilities, such as sanitary sewers, water lines, storm sewers, telecommunications, electrical, and gas lines located under private sidewalks must be within easements.

  • The homeowner or Homeowner's Association maintains the private sidewalks.  Public utilities under private sidewalks are maintained by the entity, such as a district, city, or county that owns them.

Types of Drainage Inlets

Inlets are grated or open-end structures that provide access points to the underground drainage system infrastructure.  Inlets come in many shapes and sizes.

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AREA INLETS

Area inlets are located in an area sloped to drain water to it.

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CURB INLETS

Curb inlets are located within a roadway along the curb.  Some curb inlets have a grate, and some do not.

Storm Sewers

Public storm sewer systems, inlets, pipe networks, and water detention facilities are typically owned and operated by quasi-governmental or governmental entities such as metro districts, cities, or counties. 


Homeowners and the HOA (in cases of townhome and condominium buildings) are responsible for the maintenance and repair of commonly-owned storm sewers, inlets, pipe networks, and water detention facilities.   

Types of Drainage Ponds

Detention ponds retain water for a relatively short period of time and often have structures within them for water quality.  Water is released at a specific rate through a structure per drainage requirements. 

 

In above-ground detention ponds, sediments and roadway oils are filtered by settling to the bottom of the pond and being removed through maintenance operations.  Detention ponds generally have dry bottoms or wetlands in some climates.

Detention ponds can also be constructed in an underground pipe network or concrete structures.  Underground detention ponds are used in developments where the surface area is limited.  

Detention Ponds

Detention Pond

Detention ponds retain water for a relatively short period of time and often have structures within them for water quality.  Water is released at a specific rate through a structure per drainage requirements. 


In above-ground detention ponds, sediments and roadway oils are filtered by settling to the bottom of the pond and being removed through maintenance operations.  Detention ponds generally have dry bottoms or wetlands in some climates.

Detention ponds can also be constructed in an underground pipe network or concrete structures.  Underground detention ponds are used in developments where the surface area is limited.  

Retention Ponds

Retention

Retention ponds hold water for an extended period of time and often have structures within them for water quality.  Water is released at a specific rate through a structure per city or county requirements.  In addition, pollutants, such as sediments and roadway oils, can be filtered by water quality structures installed at the entrance to the underground detention facility.

Types of Culverts

Arch culverts are used when the vertical distance between the surface and creek bed is limited.  They are typically made of corrugated metal or concrete.

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REINFORCED CONCRETE PIPE (RCP)

Concrete pipe can last at least 100 years and probably several centuries.  However, in corrosive soils, concrete pipe will not last as long.

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REINFORCED CONCRETE BOX CULVERT

Box culverts are rectangular in shape and are either pre-cast or cast-in-place.

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CORRUGATED METAL PIPE (CMP)

Corrugated Metal Pipe (CMP) is a strong and economical drainage pipe known for its durability and long service life, which is why it is often favored for highway and heavy traffic applications.  It is also easy to install, and lightweight, which makes it a desirable alternative to concrete pipe.  


CMP is constructed in the factory, on-site by a pipe machine, or by the assembly of individual metal plates.  Specialty coatings like aluminum and polymer can enhance CMP and result in a 100-year service life.

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PLASTIC PIPE CULVERT (HDPE)

HDPE pipe is generally used for smaller diameter culverts.

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ARCH CULVERT

Arch culverts are used when the vertical distance between the surface and creek bed is limited.  They are typically made of corrugated metal or concrete.

Sanitary Sewers

Sanitary sewer systems, including pipe networks, sewage treatment plants, and pump stations, are typically owned and operated by metro districts, cities, or counties.


In most cases, the homeowner or the HOA is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the sewer service lines that connect to the sewer main in the street Right-of-Way or easement.  This includes the "Tee" fitting that enables the smaller service line to connect to the larger main water line.


In cases where a failure of the "Tee" fitting on the main sewer line occurs, the owner of the service line may be responsible for that repair unless it was directly the result of the failure of the main sewer line.  All jurisdictions have different rules and regulations so check with your city or metro district if you have questions.  

Water Lines

Public water distribution systems, including treatment plants, reservoirs, and pipe networks, are typically owned and operated by metro districts, cities, or counties.


In most cases, the homeowner or the HOA is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the water service lines that connect to the water main in the street Right-of-Way or easement.  This includes the "Tee" fitting that enables the smaller service line to connect to the larger main water line.


In cases where a failure of the "Tee" fitting on the main water line occurs, the owner of the service line may be responsible for that repair unless it was directly the result of the failure of the main water line.  All jurisdictions have different rules and regulations so check with your city or metro district if you have questions.  

Easements

An "easement" is the right to access or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose.  In residential construction, easements are used for water, sewer, storm sewer, drainage, irrigation, telecommunication, gas, electric, maintenance, and access.


An easement with only one type of entity in it is referred to as an "exclusive" easement.  It is important to note that easements can contain more than one entity, which is referred to as a "non-exclusive" easement.  For example, a single easement can contain both access in the form of a sidewalk and utility lines.  General utility easements usually contain a combination of gas, electric, and telecommunications.

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