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Inlets Outlets

Inlets and Outlets

Inlet and outlet pipes must be clear of blockages to allow stormwater to freely flow in and out of your facility and to prevent local flooding. Inlet pipes allow stormwater to flow into your facility. There may be more than one. Outlet pipes are where treated water flows out of your facility and into the public storm sewer or nearby waterway.

inlet of a stormwater facility
Inlets and outlets must be kept clear. There
are often multiple inlets in a facility. 




Where to find it: 

Look for pipes where water comes in. Be sure to locate all inlets - your local jurisdiction can help. Your outlet is the last part of your stormwater facility.

When to maintain it:

Check inlets and outlets during the summer and fall. Maintain as needed to prevent blockages and allow stormwater to flow freely.

What you'll need: 

  • work glove and PPE
  • shovel
  • weed eater
  • containers lined with trash bags

Tools you may need:

inlet maintenance tools


inlet blocked by debris and sediment
Debris, sediment and vegetation are blocking
this inlet.


well-maintained inlet pipe clear of debris and sediment
This inlet is clear of debris, sediment and

Step 1

Clear vegetation around the inlet or outlet to allow easy access for maintenance of pipes. 

weed whacking around an inlet

Step 2

If there is a grate, remove it. CAUTION: grates are heavy. Use proper lifting technique and get help if needed.

man at field inlet removing grate

Step 3

Use a shovel to clear debris and sediment from inlet or outlet pipes and place material in the containers.

shoveling to clear an inlet pipe

Step 4

Dispose of material in regular trash. DO NOT put in home compost or yard debris cart. 

disposing of sediment 300x300.jpg

Printable maintenance card

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inlet rack card COVER


Stormwater facilities commonly associated with inlet and outlet pipes include:

BiofiltrationSwale sm sq.jpg

Biofiltration swale

DetentionPond sm sq.jpg

 Detention pond

InfiltrationBasin2 sm sq.jpg

 Infiltration basin


TreatmentWetland sm sq.jpg

 Treatment wetland


Wetpond sm sq.jpg