Evacuating rainwater : what rules ? What does the law say?

What is meant by rainwater drainage? Of course, these are waters from rain, but also those linked to the melting of snow, hail or ice. The evacuation of this water is subject to rules that you need to know, if only to ensure good relations between your neighbors and yourself. What is the legislation in this area?

What route for rainwater?

Before being evacuated, rainwater follows a whole path. 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, without asbestos or lead, because the water already begins its journey by draining the particles and bacteria present on your roof. Maintain your gutters regularly to prevent clogs.

Then, arrived at the bottom either the water spreads naturally, or you recover it or even you direct it towards a collective network.

A simple rule when it comes to roofs

The legislation is clear when it comes to drainage of rainwater and roofs. Article 681 of the Civil Code says that “every owner must establish roofs so that rainwater runs off on his land or on the public road; he cannot have them paid into his neighbour’s fund. In other words, rainwater must be channeled onto your land using gutters. If these leak and let the water drain directly into your neighbours, you must call on a roofer to restore the proper flow on your land.
This rule is very easily applicable if your home is in the middle of your land. Rainwater will naturally run off your property. This is less easy when the construction is at 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 which are higher to receive the waters which flow naturally from them without the hand of man having contributed thereto. The inferior proprietor cannot erect a dike which prevents this flow. The upper landlord cannot do anything that aggravates the servitude of the lower land. Your neighbor can, however, build a fence. As long as it does not hinder the evacuation of rainwater from your home. If this is the case, this person may be condemned, in particular to ensure that the initial situation is restored, and of course to pay you compensatory allowances.

A connection to a collective network

In some cases, in particular according to some Local Urbanism 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 certain roads.

Collecting your rainwater

Each of us consumes an incredible number of liters of water daily. But only a big half is drinking water, for cooking and hygiene. For the rest, no need for drinking water, it may be wise to use rainwater. For flushing toilets, for washing clothes, for cleaning the house, for watering the garden, the amount used is important. Recovering rainwater is therefore a gain factor. By doing so, you save money. How do you collect your rainwater? The 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 related to the evacuation of rainwater, the first step to take is to meet your neighbors to settle the dispute amicably. In the absence of an agreement, 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 said neighborhood. In this case, it is the district court of the location of the land that 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.

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