Reduce your risk of flooding during this wet season

With hurricane season and Florida’s wettest time of year in full swing, being proactive is essential to identifying and correcting potential flood problems before they occur.

As a community association professional and steward of your neighborhood, it makes sense to understand the shared responsibilities of preparing for high water levels and potential flooding on and near your property.

Recently, many areas across Florida have received above average rainfall. In response, homeowners are seeking information about localized flooding, water levels and stormwater system function and maintenance. While some flooding is a natural occurrence, District staff recommend that you take the following preventive actions:

  • Report clogged culverts or slow-moving water in ditches to your local government to allow adequate time for maintenance or repairs before a storm.
  • Report flooding to your local government.
  • Keep grass clippings and other debris out of stormwater drainage systems to prevent clogging and loss of stormwater storage and treatment capacity.
  • Clean out gutters and extend downspouts at least four feet from structures.
  • Build up the ground around the home to promote drainage away from the foundation.

Also, potential homebuyers should investigate whether a prospective property — house or undeveloped land — is in a floodplain or flood-prone area. Although building codes and stormwater permits may require that a house be built above flood level, flooding can still be a threat to driveways, subdivision roads, septic tanks and common recreational areas.

Lakes and waterways naturally rise and fall depending on rainfall and other conditions. Homes and businesses in flood-prone areas can be retrofitted to minimize future flood damage. Retrofitting can include making a building watertight, elevating the building and utilities, or constructing barriers.

One of the most common questions about flooding focuses on maintenance of neighborhood stormwater ponds. Who is responsible? Maintenance of private stormwater systems permitted by the district or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection may be the responsibility of a developer or homeowners association. You can find out by contacting your local Property Appraiser or visit the Property Appraiser website and find the parcel and its owner.

The district has updated its flooding information webpage — — to provide easy-to-find resources for water level information and links to flood statements and warnings, river stages, and local government emergency contacts in the district’s 18-county region.

To learn more about neighborhood stormwater systems, visit