Generally, drain projects are started when a "petition" is submitted to the Drain Commissioner. The petition states that a drainage problem exists and the petitioners would like the Drain Commissioner to solve the problem. A petition can be filed on an existing drain for maintenance or improvements to be undertaken, or it can be filed for the establishment of a new drain.
For an existing drain, a petition must be signed by at least five property owners whose land is located in the drainage district and would be liable to be assessed for a portion of the costs of the project.
For a new drain, an application to establish a drainage district is required before you can petition to establish a County Drain. A drainage district is the area of land that benefits from the drain. The application must be signed by at least ten property owners in the township-five of whom must own land in the drainage district. After the application is received, the Drain Commissioner works with an engineer to determine the area which would be drained by and receive benefit from the new drain. If determined practical, the Drain Commissioner then formally establishes the drainage district boundary. A petition to locate, establish and construct the new drain is then required. The petition must be signed by 50% of the property owners whose property would be traversed by the new drain.