Disconnecting Your Downspouts

Many downspouts on homes in Lake County are directly connected to the stormsewer system, discharging thousands of gallons of stormwater off a single roof each year.

For example, the average rainfall in Lake County during the year 2007 was 32.8 inches. That means that a 1,000 square foot rooftop would have generated over 20,400 gallons of runoff during the year. This runoff is channeled into connected downspouts and then into the stormsewer, which if filled to capacity could begin to overflow. 

The overflow goes directly into Lake County streams and rivers, or in the worst cases may backup in the system’s pipes and results in flooding of streets and basements.


  • By disconnecting the downspout, the runoff will soak into the yard and pollutants will be filtered out naturally while simultaneously recharging the groundwater. 
  • By properly disconnecting your downspouts, you can reduce the chances of causing or increasing erosion in the adjacent stream or lake.

Some communities in Lake County are starting to mandate the disconnection of downspouts, while others are prohibiting it as a means of limiting water disputes between neighbors. Be sure to check with your local community on the regulations in your area. 

Properly disconnected downspout with splash pad
LSP Neighbor Meetings Handouts 2
LSP Neighbor Meetings Handouts 3