(redirected from drains)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


A trench or ditch to convey water from wet land; a channel through which water may flow off. The word has no technical legal meaning. Any hollow space in the ground, natural or artificial, where water is collected and passes off, is a ditch or drain.

Also, sometimes, the Easement or servitude (acquired by grant or prescription) that consists of the right to drain water through another's land.

A number of states have drainage statutes in order to protect the welfare of the public. Such statutes provide for the construction of drains in areas that are swampy, marshy, or overflowed past their natural boundaries. Also contained in drainage statutes are provisions that regulate the creation and organization of drainage districts. The state legislature has the discretion to decide which lands will be included within a particular drainage district. For example, such a district might include territory of a city or village or property in two or more counties.

The specific plan for the construction of a drain is within the discretion of local authorities as modified by limitations or restrictions set forth by state drainage statutes. Only land that will be benefited through drainage improvements should properly be included within a drainage district.

In certain instances, liability has been extended to drainage districts that have failed to maintain existing drains. In order to remedy this situation, in some cases, landowners are given a certain portion of a drain to clean out and maintain in proper repair. Regardless of whether or not a landowner is specifically given the responsibility for maintenance, a landowner may only close or obstruct a drain with his or her neighbors' consent. If the land of an individual is injured because a public drain is being obstructed by a neighbor, then the person can bring suit for the damage resulting therefrom.

Subject to limitations imposed by the U.S. Constitution, a state legislature has the power to authorize drainage districts to prescribe special assessments to cover the cost of drainage improvements. Generally, only those lands included within a particular district are subject to such assessment. In certain states, school lands are exempted from assessments that drainage districts levy. Assessment review boards frequently entertain objections to drainage assessments; however, if no such board exists, assessments are subject to judicial reviews in the courts. A property owner can, therefore, go to court to challenge what he or she believes to be an unjust drainage assessment against his or her land.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

DRAIN. Conveying the water from one place to another, for the purpose of drying the former
     2. The right of draining water through another map's land. This is an easement or servitude acquired by grant or prescription. Vide 3 Kent, Com. 436 7 Mann. & Gr. 354; Jus aguaeductus; Rain water; Stillicidium.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
It was the coal cellar of the place, and when I saw the work he had spent a week upon--it was a burrow scarcely ten yards long, which he designed to reach to the main drain on Putney Hill--I had my first inkling of the gulf between his dreams and his powers.
The cord was made in England: A rough cord, a tough cord, A cord that bowmen love; So we'll drain our jacks To the English flax And the land where the hemp was wove.
four major drains including Orangi Nala, Gujjar Nala, Manzoor Colony
Conventionally, large-bore chest drains have been inserted through a surgical technique using blunt dissection, however the use of small-bore chest drains (i.e., [less than or equal to]20Fr), often inserted using a Seldinger technique, has significantly increased in recent times.
Retained surgical drains are an uncommon yet entirely preventable complication.
DRAIN-FX is a unique tool that clears clogged drains without the need for dangerous and polluting chemicals.
The rationale of the study is to determine if the routine use of drains following thyroid surgery is of any value, so the same will be followed in subsequent surgeries.
Key Words: Thyroid surgery, Drains, Postoperative complications.
4.Deodorizing the room - Place fresh citrus rinds in drains that contain garbage disposals.
While the development of deep seated failure surfaces is possible, the effect on earthen side slopes is most commonly seen in the form of relatively shallow slope failures, which if left unattended lead to the gradual deterioration of the whole dam One of the most effective methods of dissipation of excess pore pressure and improvement of stability is use of upstream drains [9].
Summary: Rampur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Aug 24 (ANI): Anjaneya Kumar Singh, the District Magistrate (DM) of Rampur, who was recently in the news for taking action against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, on Saturday set an example by engaging in the cleaning of drains in the town.