Anywhere it rains, it can flood; however, there are things you can do to protect your property.
Did You Know?
Contact Pinellas County Flood Information Services at
Protecting your property from flooding can involve a variety of actions, from regular inspection and maintenance to retrofitting or making landscaping improvements. Inspecting and clearing your gutters and nearby storm drain inlets of debris helps alleviate backup. Retrofitting, such as elevating utilities and electrical systems and installing sewer backflow valves, can also help protect your home from flooding. Landscaping to ensure water flows away from your home and through vegetation before draining to the street is also very beneficial. Particular attention needs to be focused on keeping runoff from affecting neighbors, as one of the major contributing factors of local drainage problems in our community is caused by landscaping.
Things you can do to protect your property from flooding
- Regularly inspect and maintain your home and surroundings
- Keep stormdrains near your home clear of leaves and debris, especially before and after a storm. Only Rain Down the Drain*.
- Inspect and clear your gutters frequently.
- Repair or replace your roof if shingles are deteriorating or missing.
- Repair, where possible, sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways that may have shifted over the years, allowing water to pool close to the home.
*It is illegal to dump any waste into the street, stormwater system, or into any water body in the county. Fines of up to $10,000 per violation plus clean-up costs can be levied against any perpetrator.
- 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, etc.
- Install sewer backflow valves. Valves, such as backwater or flap, can alleviate wastewater from entering your home if our 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! They’ll improve the appearance of your yard and can reduce run off flooding. Plants native to Florida will require less water and fertilizer, and also lower the amount of pesticides and pollutants that enter our water bodies.
- 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 flood waters.
- Consider adding a shallow swale along the perimeter of your property. The idea is to help convey 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 and ask. Pinellas County Info Desk (727) 464-3000.
- Protecting Your Home And Property From Flood Damage: Mitigation Ideas For Reducing Flood Loss
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards: A Multi-Hazard Foundation and Installation Guide
- Loss Avoidance Reimbursement
- Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting
- Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House
- Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated
- Plugging Home Drains to Prevent Sewage Backup
- The Costs & Benefits of Building Higher
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is stormwater runoff?
- How do I determine if my property falls in a City jurisdiction or in Unincorporated Pinellas County? And what does that means?
- Stormwater from the County right-of way is flooding my property. Who do I call?
- My driveway culvert has become clogged and no longer drains properly. Will the County come out and clean out my culvert?
- 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 his development away from me?
- My property is being flooded because my neighbor is directing their stormwater onto my property. What should I do?
- Can I connect my drainage pipes into the roadway storm pipes in the right-of-way?
- My community pond is no longer functioning, has algae blooms, or is unsightly. Who can help me fix it?
1. 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 stormdrains and into our local waters.
2. How do I determine if my property falls in a City jurisdiction or in Unincorporated Pinellas County? And what does that means?
Visit the “My Neighborhood” website. Zoom into your property and select your parcel. 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 jurisdiction, you will want to contact your city offices.
3. 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.
4. 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, you may contact Pinellas County Public Works at (727) 464-8900, and they will look into it.
5. 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 his development 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. New development may not worsen existing structural flooding. If problems are being created during construction, please contact Pinellas County Development Review Services at (727) 464-3888 and we will investigate to determine whether the development is being properly constructed.
6. 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 their help in working with you to solve the problems together. If your neighbor is willing to work with you to solve the issues, please be sure to obtain any permits that may be required. Be sure to call our offices to confirm when permits are required.
7. 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 over land flow of stormwater provides much needed water quality treatment, before the stormwater reaches our local rivers, canals, and gulf waters.
8. 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.