Rainwater drainage: what rules? What the law says ?


What do we mean by evacuation of rainwater? Of course, this is water from rain, but also water from melting snow, hail or ice. The evacuation of this water is subject to rules that you must know, if only to ensure good understanding between your neighbors and yourself. What is the legislation in this area?

Which route for rainwater?

Before being evacuated, the rainwater follows a whole process. If your roof is sloping, it starts by flowing over your tiles or slates. It is important that the coating of your roof is healthy, asbestos-free or lead-free, because the water already begins its course by draining the particles and bacteria present on your roof. Maintain your gutters regularly to prevent clogs.

Then, at the bottom, or the water spreads naturally, or you recover it or you direct it to a collective network.

A simple rule when it comes to roofs

The legislation is clear when it comes to rainwater drainage and roofs. Article 681 of the Civil Code says that “every owner must build roofs so that rainwater runs off on his land or on the public highway; he cannot have them paid into his neighbor’s fund. In other words, rainwater must be channeled on your land through gutters. If these leaks and initially allow water to drain directly to your neighbors, you owe it to yourself to call in a roofer so that he can restore the good flow on your property.
This rule is very easily applicable if your home is in the middle of your land. Rainwater will naturally flow onto your property. This is less easy when the construction is on the edge of the property.

A sloping ground

In the case of a sloping ground, the evacuation of rainwater is done naturally below, it simply follows the relief of the place. Article 640 of the Civil Code says that “the lower funds are subject to those who are higher to receive the waters which flow naturally from it without the hand of man having contributed to it. The lower owner cannot raise a dike which prevents this flow. The superior owner cannot do anything that aggravates the easement of the inferior land. Your neighbor can, however, build a fence. As long as it does not hinder the drainage of rainwater from your home. If this is the case, this person could be condemned, in particular to ensure that the initial situation is re-established, and to pay you of course compensatory indemnities.

Connection to a collective network

In some cases, in particular according to certain Local Urban Planning Plans (PLU), rainwater must be evacuated via a collective rainwater network. This network can be common to the wastewater network or be separate from it. Wastewater is directed to treatment plants, while rainwater returns to the natural environment. In this way, the risk of flooding is reduced. It also prevents water from running off some roads.

Recovery of your rainwater

Each of us consumes an incredible number of liters of water on a daily basis. But only a large half is potable water, for cooking and hygiene. For the rest, no need for drinking water, it may be wise to use the water collected from the rain. For flushing the toilet, washing clothes, cleaning the house, watering the garden, the amount used is important. Collecting rainwater is therefore a gain factor. By doing so, you save money. What to collect your rainwater from? Which tank to choose will depend on several factors. What is the area of ​​the roof that collects your rainwater? You also need to consider how much water you need – do you want to use it to wash your clothes or water your flowers and lawn only during the summer months? How big is your garden? Try to calculate your storage volume. And then it’s a safe bet that the experience will help you.

In the event of a dispute concerning the evacuation of rainwater

If you are an owner and suffer damage or nuisance in connection with the evacuation of rainwater, the first step to take is to go and meet your neighbors to settle the dispute amicably. If no agreement is reached, you can officially send him a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, of course highlighting the desire for conciliation. If the trouble does not stop, you can take legal action against the said neighborhood. In this case, it is the district court of the location of the land which is competent. In any case, it is essential to know your obligations well in order to avoid this type of situation which could lead you or your neighbors to pay damages.