Drain Commissioner



 Eaton County Drain Commissioner's Office

 Richard Wagner, Drain Commissioner

1045 Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, MI 48813 
 (517) 543-3809

Hours:  Monday thru Friday

8:00 -12:00 & 1:00 to 5:00

E-mail Drain Office - General Inquiries

E-mail - Soil Erosion Issues



 Online Form  Print, complete form and fax to 517-543-6446 

                                                                                                                                                                 RESIDENTS - DRAIN ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS 517-543-3870 



E-Mail our Staff

Richard Wagner, Drain Commissioner

Eric Deibel, Deputy Drain Commissioner 

John Loranger, Drain Inspector

Jessica Larkin, Soil Erosion

Ruthann Clarke, Assessment Administrator 

Angela Spayde, Administrative Assistant


The Drain Commissioner is an elected official responsible for constructing and maintaining public storm drains throughout Eaton County, Statutory authority for the office is derived from Public Act 40 of 1956, as amended, commonly referred to as the Michigan Drain Code. On behalf of over 700 drainage districts (including two lake levels), the drain commissioner may acquire temporary and permanent easements, own and sell lands, execute contracts and levy assessments to cover the expense of building and maintaining an adequate stormwater infrastructure.

Not all storm drains are managed by the Drain Commissioner. Cities and villages often own their own systems although most ultimately discharge to a county or intercounty drain. The Eaton County Road Commission and Michigan Department of Transportation also maintain systems of drains. The Drain Commissioner works cooperatively with these agencies to assure widespread protection against damage caused by flooding.

The focus of the Eaton County Drain Commissioner’s Office is threefold:

  • To provide adequate drainage and assure protection of downstream properties and existing storm drains;
  • To implement and manage regional flood control measures on public drains; and
  • To protect surface waters of the county and state against degradation.

An active drain maintenance program, thorough review of private development proposals, and pretreatment requirements for stormwater runoff from construction sites all play important roles in achieving this goal. The Drain Commissioner also serves as the County Enforcing Agent, administering the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance and program on behalf of the Board of Commissioners.


The Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners website can be found here.   This is a great resource for information regarding the Drain Commissioners in Michigan. 






Baseline Intercounty Drain - Part 91 Resolution

Battle Creek Intercounty Drain - Part 91 Resolution

State & Indian Creek Intercounty Drain - Part 91 Resolution



Catch Basin Clean Out Bid Tabulation

Winchell and Union Bid Tabulation 










Soil Erosion Permit Information:   Commercial Sites and Residential Sites call 517-543-3890

Uncontrolled Erosion from a construction site: Call 517-543-3890

Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control  forms and information


Special Drain Assessment information: Call 517-543-3870

Drain Assessment Payoff: Call 517-543-3870.  Drain Assessments can be assumed by a property buyer.

Drain Assessment Payoff Online Form  Print, complete form and fax to Eaton County Drain Commissioner's Office at 517-543-6446.


Flooding or problem with a county drain;  call 517-543-3829 

Illegal dumping of trash in a county drain: Call 517-543-3193

Illegal dumping of chemicals in a catchbasin or drain: Call 517-543-3193 or DEQ Emergency Response Hotline (1-800-292-4706)











More Information 

 Eaton County is a member of the Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management


Stormwater runoff is created when rain falls on pavement, buildings, and other impervious surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. In developed areas, we limit flooding by moving this runoff from our roads, parking lots, and neighborhoods through storm drains which discharge directly into rivers and streams. Since the discharge from separate storm sewer systems does not get processed at a treatment plant, any contaminants on the ground can "hitch a ride" with runoff and impact our shared surface waters. Pet waste, oil, leaves and dirty water from cleaning your car can enter storm drains and flow downstream where it harms aquatic habitats and makes water unsafe for swimming, canoeing and other water-related activities. The County takes steps to reduce this pollution to improve water quality and to meet State and Federal requirements. 

Per these requirements, Eaton County must apply for a stormwater discharge permit every five years. A large part of that application consists of a description as to how the County will commit to and proceed with the development, implementation, and enforcement of practices to reduce the discharge of pollutants from its municipal separate storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable. This documentation was formally designated as Eaton County’s Stormwater Management Plan, which is located below for public review and input.

To help facilitate a regional approach to stormwater management, the County is also a member of the Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management, a guiding body comprised of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities within the Greater Lansing Region.  The committee has been established to guide the implementation of the stormwater program for participating communities within the Grand River, the Red Cedar River and the Looking Glass River watersheds. Visit to learn about upcoming events, find steps you can take to limit water pollution, and to get involved in managing our shared water resources!

If you have questions or comments regarding the County’s stormwater management plan, please contact Eric Deibel at the Eaton County Drain Commission;  517-543-3809.

An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to the municipal separate storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater, except for discharges allowed under an NPDES permit or waters used for firefighting operations. Many of these non-stormwater discharges occur due to illegal connections to the storm drain system from commercial, residential, and other establishments. 


Illegal dumping of chemicals in a catchbasin or drain: Call 517-543-3193 or DEQ Emergency Response Hotline (1-800-292-4706)


Eaton County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Stornwater Program Progress Report January 2014 to April 2016

Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management Public Education Plan

Eaton County Illicit Discharge Elimination Plan

TMDL Implementation Plan for E. coli

Soil Erosion & Sediment Discharge Reporting

Reminder about SESC and NPDES Permits for Construction Sites

Stormwater Management Manual

Public Participation Plan

PA40 and Regulations for ERP

Good Housekeeping and Polution Prevention for Municipal Activities

Compliance Procedures for Eaton County's NPDEPP

Good Housekeeping and Pollution Prevention for Municipal Activities


“Interested in learning about area events and initiatives aimed at protecting our water resources?  Check out these publications from the GLRC.”

Annual Reports:

Quarterly Newsletters:

Educational Information for homeowners:










Sanitary sewer and residential connection (publicly maintained sewer systems): contact local city, township or village.


Private septic tank or drain field: Contact Barry-Eaton District Health Department at 517-543-2430


State Permits (wetlands, floodplain, NPDES): Contact MDEQ Environmental Assistance Center (EAC) at 1-800-662-9278


Flood Plain Maps: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood map information is available at FEMA Map Service. Maps may be viewed at the Drain Commissioner’s Office but are unavailable for distribution.


Middle Grand River Watershed 319 Planning Grant: call 517-543-5848, extension 5 (Eaton Conservation District)



News articles and publications:

Greening Mid-Michigan

Water Conservation Throughout the Home

Current information is also posted outside the Drain Commissioner’s Office in the main Courthouse Complex in Charlotte, Michigan.



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