Waterfront Property and Wetlands

Surface Runoff

Under common law, surface water was viewed as a common enemy and each landowner had the right to fight off or drain surface water as best he could. These rights were tempered in that good faith was to be used in the efforts to remove surface water and one was and is typically prohibited from collecting water on one’s land and then discharging it in volume upon the land of another with injurious results.


A landowner is able to take steps to drive off surface waters from the land if such acts are reasonably necessary to protect the land. Liability to another landowner may result if his efforts are unreasonable and an adjoining property owner is injured.