Driveway culverts like the ones shown above must be repaired or replaced by the property owner. A revocable encroachment permit is required for all work in the County Right of Way, including replacing private driveway culverts. Visit the encroachment permit webpage.
Just like a car needs an oil change regularly and a house needs a new roof every few decades, private culverts must be kept clear of debris and replaced before they rust or collapse. Private property owners are responsible for maintaining their own culverts and stormwater drainage systems (SWDS).
The regulatory authority, responsibility, and management of stormwater drainage systems are found in the Whatcom County Development Standards, Chapter 2, Stormwater Management, Section C.
Common culvert problems:
Benefits of Culvert Maintenance
Two key factors determine when to replace a culvert.
Property owners may choose to replace their own culverts or hire a contractor to do the work. Specialized knowledge and equipment may be required, especially for a replacement project.
When hiring a contractor, property owners should follow best practices, including: