Fulton County, Indiana

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Stormwater Criteria


Recommendations for Fulton County, Indiana:

It shall be the policy of the Fulton County Drainage Board and the Fulton County Area Plan Commission that the storage and controlled release of storm water run-off shall be required of all new development, any redevelopment and other construction in Fulton County.

The release rate of storm water from developed lands shall not exceed the release rate from the land’s area in its present land use. The developer must provide detailed computations of the run-off before and after the proposed development, which demonstrate that run-off will not be increased. The peak run-off rate after development for the 100 year return period storm of critical duration must not exceed the 10 year return period pre-development peak run-off rate.

Computations for watershed areas up to and including 200 acres may be based on the Rational Method. Design standards for the collection, conveyance, storage, and release of storm water run-off shall be applied using methods recommended by the USDA Technical Releases 20 and 55, NRCS, Indiana Storm water Quality Manuel and The Indiana Drainage Manual.

Financial responsibility for the design and construction of storm water control systems and facilities as required by Fulton County shall be considered part of the cost of the land development and as such, are the responsibility of the developer/owner. The developer may be required to post a performance bond on behalf of the landowner, in an amount equal to the cost of completing the drainage system, to guarantee that the drainage work will be completed within a nine-month permit period and to the specifications of the drainage plan approved by the County Drainage Board.

There shall be no excavation or disturbance of soils prior to having erosion control practices in place and the proper permits required by the Area Plan Commission and any other local state regulatory agencies.


Storm water drainage system:

  1. A Drainage System shall be designed (by an individual licensed to do so, in the State of Indiana), constructed and maintained to provide for the proper drainage for surface water for any new development (or redevelopment) and the drainage area (watershed) of which it is part.
  2. New development shall be defined as any development changing and existing use of land and shall include but is not limited to: subdivisions, commercial, industrial, or agricultural development and any development or construction which modifies the lands ability to slow or absorb storm water in any fashion or which diminishes the quality of said storm water (i.e. any disturbance of the natural lay of the land).
  3. The design for the drainage system shall be submitted to the County Surveyor for review at least one week prior to the Drainage Board’s next scheduled meeting and must be accompanied by an IDEM “Notice of Sufficiency” for Rule 5 (327 IAC 15-5) Erosion Control and for Rule 13 (327 IAC 15-13) Separate Storm Sewer Conveyance, when they apply.
  4. The design for the drainage system must include:
  5. A soil map of the proposed development site and adjacent areas that may be affected.                  
  6. A topographic map of the site showing contours at two foot intervals and indicating the location of existing storm water run-off channels, waterways, floodplains, legal and private drains, storm and sanitary sewers, bodies of water or detention basins and their respective lines of inflow or outflow.
  7. A determination of storm water run-off quantities for the area or parcel under development plus the area of the watershed flowing into the parcel under development and a comprehensive plan designed to handle safely the storm water run-off and to detain the increased storm water run-off.
  8. A preliminary layout showing elevations, grades, and outlets of all proposed storm sewers, channels, swales, roadways, and other means of conveyance used to convey and or detain storm water.
  9. Maintenance and erosion control (Rule 5) during construction and thereafter, shall be the legal responsibility of the developer/owner of the land. Future assignment of responsibility for maintenance and erosion control of all drainage facilities (i.e. sewers, channels, swales, retention/detention basins etc.) shall be documented by appropriate covenants to property deeds or by petition to make the facility a legal drain subject to maintenance assessments by the county authority.
  10. The Fulton County Drainage Board may require a fee from the developer, for professional assistance in the determination of the acceptance and approval of the final design of the storm water control system.
  11. These storm water run-offs control requirements do not imply that land uses permitted will be free from storm water damage from major storm events. These requirements shall not create liability on the part of Fulton County or any officer, employee, or representative thereof for any damage that may result from reliance on these requirements or on any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
  12. Failure to comply with the requirements shall be considered a violation and fines will be set and applied according to state statute.
  13. The provisions of these requirements shall be deemed as additional requirements to minimum standards required by ordinances and compliance with applicable State of Indiana statutes and regulations.
  14. Possible exceptions to these requirements are: minor subdivisions and specialization as defined in the county zoning ordinance. The Drainage Board may waive the requirement of controlled run-off in a case-by-case evaluation for possible exceptions.



Basins shall be constructed to detain temporarily the storm water run-off which exceeds the maximum peak flow rate authorized by these requirements. The volume of storage in these basins, together with such storage as may be authorized in other on-site facilities shall be sufficient to control excess run-off from the one hundred (100) year storm event. Present and future title of ownership to land where said basins are constructed must be clearly stated in the design proposal. Present and future title of ownership to land where said basins are constructed must be clearly stated in the design proposal. Future title of ownership to land where said basins are located must be dedicated by deed to the owner/owners of the development served by said basin. Detention basin designs and locations may not be changed without the expressed written approval of the Fulton County Drainage Board and the Fulton County Area Plan Commission. Maintenance of the detention/retention basins is the responsibility of the owner/owners, unless the county authority has classified the basin as a legal drain of record and set up a maintenance assessment for the facility.

The following design principles shall be observed in the construction and maintenance of such basins:

  • The maximum volume of water stored and subsequently release at the design release rate shall not result in storage duration in excess of 48 hours, unless additional storms occur with that 48-hour period. Provisions shall be incorporated to facilitate complete interior drainage of dry bottom basins.
  • The maximum planned depth of storm water stored (without a permanent pool) shall not exceed four feet.
  • All storm water detention facilities shall be separated, by not less than fifty feet, from any building or structure to be occupied or from the property lines.
  • All excess excavated material may be spread so as to provide for aesthetic features.
  • Basin side slopes shall be constructed no steeper than four feet horizontal to one foot vertical for safety, erosion control, stability and ease of maintenance.
  • Safety screens and animal guards shall be provided for any pipe or opening to prevent children and animals from crawling into structures.
  • Danger signs shall be mounted at appropriate locations to warn of deep water and possible flooding conditions during storm periods and other dangers that may exist.
  • Outlet control structures shall be designed to operate as simply as possible and shall require little or no maintenance and or attention for proper operation. They shall limit discharges into existing or planned downstream channel or conduits so as not to exceed the predetermined maximum authorized peak outflow rate.
  • Emergency overflow facilities such as a weir or spillway shall be provided for the release of exceptional storm water run-offs or in emergency conditions, should the normal discharge device become partially inoperative. The overflow facility shall be of such design that its operation is automatic and does not require manual attention.
  • Grass and or other suitable vegetation cover shall be provided throughout the entire dry bottom basin area. Grass should be cut regularly at approximately monthly intervals during the growing season or as required.
  • Debris and trash removal and other necessary maintenance shall be performed on a regular basis to assure continued operation in conformance to design. If an owner of a detention basin does not perform regular require maintenance, the County Drainage Board may consider this lack of maintenance an “obstruction” as defined under IC 36-9-27-46.
  • When a detention basin is designed to maintain a permanent water level or pool of water (wet bottom basin), a controlled positive outlet will be required to maintain the design water level and provide the required detention storage above the design water level. Other conditions and specifications apply to detention basins that are designed to maintain a permanent water level:
  1. Permanent ponds shall have a water area of at least one-half acre and a minimum depth of ten feet shall be maintained over at least 25% of the pond area if fish are to be introduced.
  2. Excavated side slopes of ponds must be stable.
  3. A safety ledge at least four feet in width is required and must be installed approximately 30” to 36” below the permanent water level; and a similar maintenance ledge shall be installed 12” to 18” above the permanent water level. The slope between these two ledges shall be stone or rip rap to prevent erosion.
  4. Ponds shall be designed to provide easy access for the removal of sedimentation and periodic maintenance to control weed and larval growth.
  5. Facilities to maintain and enhance water quality must be provided.
  6. Whether fencing will be required will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The owner of a detention/retention basin, after meeting certain specifications for the construction of a said basin, may petition the County Drainage Board to have the basin classified a legal drain of record; there by relieving the owner of maintenance requirements and allowing the county to set up a maintenance assessment for said basin for the landowners benefitting from the basin, and allowing the county to contract for such maintenance as needed. A basin being designated a legal drain, however, does not place liability for said basin upon the county. The property’s liability remains that of the landowner(s) owning and/or benefitting from said basin.

Contact the County

Fulton County Courthouse
(More about Fulton County Courthouse)
815 N Main St
Rochester, IN 46975
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