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Storm Drains Design

Orange Versus Black Inlet Grates 

The newly-installed inlet grates are commonly used throughout the country and have proved to be most effective. They are made of cast iron and designed to take advantage of the naturally-occuring oxidation process, or rust, that occurs to iron ore. The bright orange rust proceeds at a variable rate, developing a thin patina, which preserves the grate from corrosion. This coloration is temporary and after time will change to black. Gray iron has a high silicon content and tends to inhibit further oxidation and provide a relatively high degree of corrosion-resistance over time. Note that grates that have been in the ground for some time are no longer orange, but black.

Flooding Causes and Who to Contact

Determine who to contact for the following causes of flooding.

  • Flooding on Property, Unrelated to Maintenance—Call Storm Drain Design at 410-887-3711 to report the problem. We will investigate to determine the best approach.
  • Flooding on Private Property/Basement—Baltimore County is not permitted by the County Code to make improvements to private property. View a fact sheet (PDF) with advice for implementing a solution or hiring a private contractor.

Bureau of Highways

For the following types of flooding, contact the Bureau of Highways at 410-887-3560.

  • Stream Flow—The Bureau will investigate and determine if any debris or culvert blockage exists and refer the problem to Storm Drain Design if assistance is needed.
  • Clogged Street Inlet—The Bureau handles roadway maintenance problems and will unclog the inlet.
  • Runoff from County Road—The Bureau will investigate complaints involving insufficient or undersized culverts or inlets. They will refer the problem to Storm Drains Design if assistance is needed.

Other Inquiries

Learn who to contact regarding the following topics:

  • Stream/Bank Erosion—Call the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability at 410-887-3733.
  • Floodplain Boundaries—The Department of Public Works and Transportation maintains a library of floodplain maps and is the local repository for the Federal Flood Insurance maps. Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) copies and assistance can be obtained through the Bureau of Engineering by calling 410-887-3984.
  • Status/Updates on Storm Drain Project
    • Prior to Construction—Call Storm Drains Design at 410-887-3711 for information regarding design and scheduling of projects prior to construction.
    • Construction Status—Call the Construction Contracts Administration at 410-887-3461 for information regarding the construction status of a project.
Revised May 12, 2021         


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