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Water bodies, watersheds and storm water

The role we play as individuals in flood protection, storms

A storm drain that is partially clogged with debris

Individuals can help by keeping nearby storm drains free of debris.

Individuals can protect themselves from flooding by being proactive ahead of storm season and conducting periodic maintenance. An individual’s role includes:

Debris in stormwater systems

Keep grass clippings and other debris out of stormwater drainage systems to prevent clogging. Clogged drainage ditches can lead to loss of stormwater storage and treatment capacity.

Drainage problems

Report clogged culverts or slow-moving water in ditches to your local government.

Flood insurance

Obtain information about the National Flood Insurance Program from your insurance agent.

Flood zones and floodplains

If you are buying a house or undeveloped land, determine whether it is in a floodplain or flood-prone area. Although local building codes and stormwater permits may require that a residence be built above flood level, flooding could still be a threat to driveways, subdivision roads, septic tanks and common recreational areas.


Report any flooding to your local government.

Floodproofing buildings

Residences and businesses in flood-prone areas can be retrofitted to minimize future flood damage. Retrofitting can include making a building water-tight, elevating the building or constructing barriers. If there are utilities prone to flooding, contact the appropriate utility company to discuss options.

Stormwater system maintenance

Determine who has responsibility for stormwater pond maintenance in your neighborhood. In some planned subdivi­sions, the homeowners association may legally have that responsibility.

Shoreline vegetation on the edge of a pond

The use of shoreline vegetation can reduce erosion and trap pollutants in stormwater runoff before the runnoff reaches water bodies.

  • Clear or clean the inflow/outflow structures.
  • Remove nuisance and excess vegetation from stormwater ponds.
  • Repair eroded slopes.
  • Do not fill stormwater ponds, swales or retention systems with dirt or other debris, as this will reduce the size of the stormwater pond. Any reduction in treatment volume will interfere with the pond’s ability to hold stormwater runoff.
  • Help stormwater ponds function properly by planting (aquascaping) desirable plants.

To learn more about the most effective methods of keeping stormwater systems working properly in your neighborhood, contact the district.

Water levels

Lakes and waterways rise and fall naturally, depending on rainfall and other conditions. Native trees and plants thrive on these natural fluctuations. Call your county’s stormwater or public works division to learn more about the historic levels of water bodies in your area. This will help you make informed decisions on the placement of structures.


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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922