Many homes have their downspouts connencted to the storm water sytem. This is when the pipe comes off the gutters and then runs into the ground. Or sometimes the downspout empties onto a driveway and runs to the street. During a storm, water that falls onto roofs is directed straight to the stowmwater system, which can overload the system and lead to flooding. Disconnecting or redirecting the downspout is an easy afternoon project following these instructions.

Before you start:

  • The slope of the yard must not drain water toward the house.
  • Downspouts must extend at least six feet away from a basement and two feet away from a crawl space (foundation).
  • The end of the downspout extension needs to be at least five feet from your property line. More room may be needed if the yard slopes toward the neighbor’s house.

If your downspout is not connected, simply make sure the end  of the pipe is pointing into the yard and not a driveway.


Want to save it for later? Connect your downspout to a rain barrel.

Watch an instuctional video

City of Portland – Removed more than a million gallons of water through disconnection.