Flood Information: Property Protection
Anywhere it rains, it can flood. However, there are things you can do to protect your property.
Protecting your property from flooding can involve a variety of actions, from regular inspection and maintenance to retrofitting or making landscaping improvements.
Did You Know?
Pinellas County staff provides one-on-one consultations, site visits and advice about property protection measures, such as retrofitting techniques and drainage improvements. Contact Pinellas County Flood Information Services at (727) 464-7700.
Protect Your Property From Flooding
Regularly Inspect and Maintain Your Home and Surroundings
- Keep storm drains near your home clear of leaves and debris, especially before and after a storm. Remember: Only Rain Down the Drain.
- It is illegal to dump any waste into the street, stormwater system or any waterbody in the county. Fines of up to $10,000 per violation plus clean-up costs can be levied against any perpetrator.
- Inspect and clear your gutters frequently.
- Repair or replace your roof if shingles are deteriorating or missing.
- Repair sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways that may have shifted over the years, allowing water to pool close to your home.
Retrofit Your Property
- Install gutters with spout extensions and use a splash pad to direct the water away from your foundation. Make sure they are pointed away from your neighbors’ yards and into your grass or garden, not into the driveway.
- Install trench drains in your driveway or at your doorway to help collect water and reduce yard flooding.
- Raise switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring.
- Elevate your equipment, such as water heaters, AC units and other utilities and electrical systems.
- Install sewer backflow valves. Valves, such as backwater or flap, can alleviate wastewater from entering your home if the sewer system becomes overwhelmed.
- Install flood vents in the walls of enclosed storage spaces. This helps relieve pressure put on the walls during a flood event and lowers the chance of their collapsing.
- Build with flood-resistant materials.
Improve Your Landscaping
- Manage yard waste appropriately. Never sweep or blow leaves, clippings or dirt into the street or stormdrains. Blow fallen leaves out of the street back into your yard as they naturally fertilize your lawn, or bag the leaves for disposal. Keep the curb and street in front of your home clear to alleviate clogged stormdrains during rain events.
- Only rain down the drain. Make sure hired landscapers meet County requirements. Call (727) 464-4425 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
- Create a rain garden. Rain gardens improve the appearance of your yard and can reduce run off flooding. Plants native to Florida will require less water and fertilizer. They’ll also lower the amount of pesticides and pollutants that enter our waterbodies.
- Install a rain barrel. These capture rainwater from your roof downspout to save for watering landscaping and plants in times of drought.
- Add vegetative buffers to your landscaping. They are aesthetically pleasing and protect your home from floodwaters.
- Consider adding a shallow swale along the perimeter of your property. This helps move the water away from your home as well as your neighbors’ homes.
- Install French drains to collect excess water and direct it away from your foundation.
You must obtain a Habitat Permit for any digging, regrading, etc. If you are not sure if you need a permit, please call the Pinellas County Info Desk at (727) 464-3000.
- Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House
- Costs & Benefits of Building Higher
- Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting
- Loss Avoidance Reimbursement
- Plugging Home Drains to Prevent Sewage Backup
- Protecting Your Home And Property From Flood Damage
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards
- Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated
Frequently Asked Questions
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is any rainfall that does not soak into the ground. All runoff eventually flows into storm drains that empty out into rivers, bays or the ocean. Impervious surfaces like driveways, streets, sidewalks and buildings do not absorb the water (like sand and grass), and all of the pollutants, like pesticides and motor oils, are carried down the storm drains and into our local waters.
How do I determine if my property falls in a city jurisdiction or in unincorporated Pinellas County?
Visit the My Neighborhood website and enter your address. If your property is located in the unincorporated Pinellas County jurisdiction, you will want to direct your questions to the Pinellas County offices. If your property falls into a city’s jurisdiction, you will want to contact your city offices.
Stormwater from the County right-of way is flooding my property. Who do I call?
If stormwater is flowing from a County road or ditch onto your property and causing flooding, please contact Pinellas County Public Works at (727) 464-8900.
My driveway culvert has become clogged and no longer drains properly. Will the County come out and clean out my culvert?
If the right-of-way is a County road, contact Pinellas County Public Works at (727) 464-8900.
There is new construction next to my lot and I'm having drainage problems due to the construction. Is there anything the County can do to make the developer/contractor drain away from me?
There is a misconception that new development is not allowed to drain onto an existing development. If the area drained onto the adjacent property prior to the development, it may continue to do so after development.
However, new development may not worsen existing structural flooding. If problems are being created during construction, contact Pinellas County Development Review Services at (727) 464-3888 to investigate to determine whether the development is being properly constructed.
My property is being flooded because my neighbor is directing their stormwater onto my property. What should I do?
First and foremost, speak to your neighbor in a calm and constructive manner. Explain the issues you see and ask them to work with you to solve the problems together.
If your neighbor is willing to work with you to solve the issues, be sure to obtain any permits that may be required. Call our offices at (727) 464-3000 to confirm when permits are required.
Can I connect my drainage pipes into the roadway storm pipes in the right-of-way?
We do not permit residential private properties to connect into storm systems underground and in the right-of-way. Subdivisions are designed so that all stormwater may flow over grass areas and then into the storm system via road gutters and storm inlets. This overland flow of stormwater provides much-needed water quality treatment before the stormwater reaches our local rivers, canals and gulf waters.
My community pond is no longer functioning, has algae blooms or is unsightly. Who can help us fix it?
Pinellas County residents can seek assistance from the Adopt-A-Pond program. Call (727) 464-4425 or email email@example.com.