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How to Legally Disconnect Your Downspout 

The following are examples of what to do and what NOT to do. If disconnect improperly it can result in damage to a foundation, soil erosion and other problems.

The Correct Way to Disconnect

The correct way to lead water away from the building is with a minimum two foot gutter. Additional extensions may be used so long as the water is not directed to the property line.


What Not to Do

Simply cutting off the connection and letting the water run out will ruin a foundation wall. An elbow extending a minimum of two feet from the wall or foundation is required.

Any device that releases water less than two feet from the wall is illegal. Perforated roll out tubes typically have holes starting in less than two feet. A hard gutter extension two feet long needs to be connected before this device can be used.
Automatic release systems are allowed. Flip down extensions are not permitted unless they can operate automatically. If a manual system is used, an unattended spout could over-fill and leak next to the foundation wall. A hard downspout extending two feet or more has to be connected prior to the flip down extention to be legal.
Any uncapped disconnection is illegal. A one inch concrete cap or other approved seal is required. Care should be taken to properly re-seal in the event you are required to reconnect to the system.
A simple fact of physics...water will not flow uphill. The other violation is the flow toward the public street. The point of discharge cannot be within five feet of the property line. The discharge should be parallel to the property line. The eroded soil could have been saved by a silt fence. It would have captured the soil and allowed the water to pass.





Go to Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District web site  


Last update 3/15/13


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