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The 2013 California Building Code is scheduled for enforcement beginning January 1, 2014.  It uses the 2012 International Residential Code as its base document.   Section 801.3 of the International Residential Code regulates drainage for “one and two family” residential buildings and is a much more comprehensive section than the City of San Ramon’s two separate ordinances adopted in the past. 

San Ramon will allow the use of the 2013 California Code provisions.  Though not yet effective, it has been adopted by the State of California Building Standards Commission.   The 2013 State Codes become effective on January 1, 2014.  The drainage section provision, will be allowed as an “Alternate Method of Construction” in accordance with section 104.11 of the administrative provisions of the 2013 California Building Code and the City of San Ramon Administrative provisions.

Previous ordinances have mandated installation of roof gutters and drains to the street for all residential properties and another ordinance requires that all roof drainage be deposited on the property whenever possible, essentially to whatever extent  the yard could  absorb the rain runoff.   The intent of the provisions it to reduce the runoff water to the storm and bay but whenever water must be removed from the property it must be channeled to the street in an approved manner. 

The primary reason for having roof gutters and drainage from a Building Code standpoint is to collect the water, move it away from the building thereby preventing damage to the structure by keeping the water away from the foundation.   The 2013 Code will resolve that issue and remove the conflict between the two City ordinances.    For those properties where the yard is inadequate to absorb the rain water the new provisions would require runoff to drain through an approved drainage system.   The location of the water deposit must be an “approved” location.  

  • Runoff is not allowed to drain across a sidewalk or walking surface.
  • In the absence of a soils report the soil will be considered “Expansive”
  • All system must terminate through the curb and under the sidewalk unless it can be shown the area and soil conditions will allow drainage to be absorbed into the ground on the property (5 feet or more away from the structure).


2012 IRCR801.3 Roof Drainage

“In areas where expansive or collapsible soils are known to exist, all dwellings shall have a controlled method of water disposal from roofs that will collect and discharge roof drainage to the ground surface at least 5 feet (1524 mm) from foundation walls or to an approved drainage system.”

City of San Ramon Municipal Code

Storm Water Management and Discharge Control B6-360

Roof Drainage C1-52




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