How you can help keep Lake Champlain clean:

Redirect Your Downspouts

To ensure that stormwater is running into proper drainage areas, check that downspouts are directed away from your home’s foundation.

Downspouts should also end on grass or another place where it can be absorbed. Downspouts should not end on an impervious surface, such as your driveway.

Your home may have a downspout that is directly connected to a storm drain system. This piping can be altered and redirected by cutting the existing pipe and then installing a new downspout elbow with extension.

Before beginning this project, make sure that you have proper safety equipment, including protective goggles and gloves.

How to Redirect your Downspouts


  • Gutter elbow joint
  • Downspout extension
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Cap for old standpipe
  • Backsplash


  • Fine-tooth hacksaw
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill with twist-drill bit

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Cut the existing downspout about 9” from the bottom with the hacksaw.
  2. Remove cut section from area.
  3. If you have a standpipe, use a plug with a wing nut or expansion plug to block the waterway.
  4. Attach the elbow joint to the new end of your downspout with the elbow going over the downspout.
  5. Use the needle-nose pliers to crimp the two pieces together.
  6. Secure the elbow with the sheet metal screws on opposite sides, holes may need to be pre-drilled.
  7. Install extension by sliding it over the elbow.
  8. Secure extension with sheet metal screws.
  9. Position the extension at least 5 feet from the foundation of your home.
  10. If you choose, add the backsplash at the end of the extension to help prevent lawn or soil erosion.
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