Copyright 1998-2014 The Flood Control District of Maricopa County
Frequently Asked Questions
Projects & Studies
Property & Maintenance
What is the Flood Control District?
The District is a municipal corporation and political subdivision of the state of Arizona. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors serves as the District's Board of Directors, which in turn receives counsel from the Flood Control Advisory Board comprised of County citizens.
How is the District funded?
A secondary property tax paid by Maricopa County property owners provides the District's primary funding. The District seeks financial project partnerships from Federal, state and local agencies to supplement tax revenue. Other revenue sources include sales of excess land and other assets, permitting fees, and fund balance interest.
What jurisdictions does the District perform floodplain management and regulation duties for?
The Cities of Buckeye, Chandler, El Mirage, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Surprise and Tolleson. The Towns of Carefree, Cave Creek, Gila Bend, Guadalupe, Queen Creek, Wickenburg and Youngtown.
Why do I pay for flood insurance?
Flood insurance is mandatory if your home or property is within a special flood hazard area, as designated by the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps, and you have a federally-backed or federally-insured mortgage. Your flood insurance policy provides coverage caused by flooding for your residence since your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover losses caused by flooding.
Who do I call to purchase flood insurance?
Flood Insurance can be purchased from the insurance agent who administers your homeowner’s insurance policy, any insurance company, or by visiting www.floodsmart.gov.
Where can I find the definitions of all of the flood zones?
Why do I need to purchase flood insurance if my property/residence is located within a FEMA Zone X?
Typically, mandatory flood insurance is not required if your residence is located in FEMA Zone X although your mortgage company may require you to have flood insurance if they believe there is a risk to your residence and they want to protect their interest.
I am in Zone X and I was told I couldn’t get flood insurance?
This is incorrect! All residences are eligible for flood insurance even if they are located in a moderate-to-low risk flood areas, FEMA Zone X. Go to www.floodsmart.gov to get a list of insurance agents or contact the agent that administers your homeowner’s insurance policy to learn more.
What jurisdictions does the District perform floodplain management and regulation duties for?
The Cities of Buckeye, Chandler, El Mirage, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Surprise and Tolleson. The Towns of Carefree, Cave Creek, Gila Bend, Guadalupe, Queen Creek, Wickenburg and Youngtown. Contact other cities directly for floodplain management in their jurisdiction.
If your property is located in a jurisdiction that the District does not perform floodplain management duties for, you may be referred to the appropriate jurisdiction for more information.
How do I get my property out of a floodplain?
Please contact the District at (602) 506-2419 for more information regarding the process and requirements for submission of a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) request to FEMA. A LOMC is for a formal determination of the property’s location and/or elevation relative to the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
How do I get a copy of an Elevation Certificate?
The District may have a record of the Elevation Certificate if the structure is located in the unincorporated areas of Maricopa County and if one was required when the structure was built. Residences constructed prior to being mapped into a high-risk flood zone typically may not have an Elevation Certificate on file. Please contact the District at (602) 506-2419.
If you are not located in the unincorporated areas of Maricopa County, contact the jurisdiction in which the structure is located to inquire about record of the Elevation Certificate.
Who do I call to get an Elevation Certificate?
For new or existing structures that were recently identified as being in a floodplain, an Elevation Certificate is typically completed by a registered land surveyor or engineer. However a homeowner or representative may complete the Elevation Certificate for FEMA Zones AO and A without a base flood elevation.
How much does it cost to get an Elevation Certificate?
An Elevation Certificate can range from $400-1,000 depending on the complexity of the job. Please contact a qualified land surveyor or engineer to prepare the Elevation Certificate.
Why doesn’t the county provide Elevation Certificates at no cost to the customer?
The District will provide a copy of an Elevation Certificate at no cost if we have a one on record. Note: the Elevation Certificate is the responsibility of the owner who initially builds the structure and it is used to show compliance with the approved site plan and to provide documentation for obtaining flood insurance.
What type of permit do I need?
Floodplain Use Permit — Generally required if the proposed development is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), for residential and non-residential construction.
Floodplain Use Permit for Sand & Gravel — Required for aggregate mining within a floodplain if a project is located in a floodplain in unincorporated Maricopa County or a community with floodplain managed by the District.
Right-of-way Permit — Required for right of entry (gives the permit holder access onto District-owned or maintained structures and land) if access or project is on land and/or facilities owned by the District in both incorporated and unincorporated Maricopa County.
How much does a permit cost?
It depends on the type of permit and the complexity of the review. Please review the Permitting Fee Schedule for specific permit costs.
Can I pay my permit fees online?
No. Floodplain Use Permits in unincorporated Maricopa County must be paid at the Maricopa County Planning and Development Department while the Community Floodplain Use Permits for the jurisdictions that the District performs floodplain management for can be paid at the District or by phone by calling (602) 506-1501.
Why do I need the District’s permission to build or grade on my property?
The District has authority to enforce the Floodplain Regulations for Maricopa County on all Special Flood Hazard Areas within the boundaries of Maricopa County in order to protect other residents and to minimize damage and losses due to flooding.
When development is proposed within these areas, it is the intent of the District to take reasonable action and enforce regulations on those that choose to build in Special Flood Hazard Areas in order to minimize the consequence of flooding and to prevent unwise development.
How can I keep my neighbor from making changes on their property that will eventually cause problems on my property?
If your neighbor has obtained an approved Floodplain Use Permit and/or Building Permit, it should minimize adverse impacts downstream.
If the development or changes are not permitted, you can report them to the Maricopa County Planning and Development Department Code Enforcement Division. If you suspect the development is within a delineated floodplain within Maricopa County you can contact the District to open an investigation, (602) 506-2419. All other potential floodplain violations, not within unincorporated Maricopa County, will be directed to the applicable jurisdiction.
Can I get a permit to drain my pools into a District canal?
No. District channels are for carrying storm water only. Pool water has contaminants that can hurt the environment, and so is not allowed in District channels.
Am I able to obtain a permit to ride off-road vehicles on District property?
No. Many of the District’s properties serve as replacement habitat and/or are environmentally sensitive areas. This fact along with the existing air quality standards within Maricopa County makes it prohibitive to allow off road-vehicle use on District property.
Where can I find projects that are included in the Capital Improvement Program?
How can I be put on the contracts list to be able to bid on a project?
PleasePlease contact the District's Contracts Supervisor, (602) 506-4433, for questions or more information on procurement procedures, projects or registration.
Where can I find information about District projects that have been surveyed?
Please contact (602) 506-5460 to receive specific information about District projects that have been surveyed.
How do I get a flood control project built in my area?
Flood control projects are typically initiated by the local jurisdiction where the project would be located. Working with the Flood Control District, the local jurisdiction submits the proposed project to the District
"Prioritization Process" for consideration. The project may then at some point in the future move forward as a funded project.
Where can I find information about current and future flood control projects?
How do I contact the project manager about a study in my area?
Project managers can be found on the Projects and Structures page by clicking on the project of interest. If you are unsure of the project's name, you can use the Flood Hazard Identification Study map viewer; click on the study area to display project data. Selecting "more information" will show the study's project manager.
A study was done in my area but there has not been any construction. When will the construction begin?
The Projects and Structures page on the website has the latest status of ongoing projects. If you need additional information, please call (602) 506-4771.
How do you decide which area to study for flooding issues?
Priorities are set based on level of flood hazard, historic flooding, municipal partnership requests, development potential and funding availability. The goal is to plan and help build flood control projects that reduce flooding hazards, while balancing schedule, cost and social and environmental considerations.
Who do I contact with construction concerns?
Construction Hotline Numbers are listed on the District's are listed on the District's website. Additionally, each construction project has signs posted at various locations along the construction site with hotline numbers.
Who do I contact to find out how much water can be held by a flood control structure?
Our flood control structures are managed by multiple branches within the District. Please submit an Inquiry Request via the District website and a staff member will assist you.
Who is responsible for maintaining the drainage channel/basin in my neighborhood?
It depends. Typically your local jurisdiction or home owners association (HOA) has maintenance responsibilities for drainage in your neighborhood therefore you should contact them first. If the District is responsible for the maintenance, please contact us, (602) 506-1501, and ask to speak with the Operations and Maintenance Division.
Who maintains vegetation on Flood Control property and how often do they clear out the vegetation?
District properties are inspected routinely throughout the year by our Operations and Maintenance Division. Maintenance, such as vegetation removal, is performed annually or as necessary.
How can I find out what property the District owns throughout the county?
The Flood Control District's website shows projects and associated land rights for those projects. If you have a very specific question as to boundary lines or ownership rights, you should contact the Real Estate Division's Property Engineering Branch.
How can I find out where the District has easements throughout the county?
Some easements can be verified by contacting the Property Engineering Branch, (602) 506-0388. Some of the older easements across District property were not originally tracked so it may require getting a Title Report to verify easement grants across District property.
How can I find out if a District parcel has a recreational use easement?
Please contact the Property Management Branch, (602) 506-4747.
Does the District allow use of their property for a one-time event?
It depends. Please complete a one-time event permit via the District's Right of Way Use Permit process. Each request will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine if a permit will be authorized. If you need additional assistance, please contact our Right of Way Permits Branch, (602) 506-0117.
Who should I contact to have repairs and/or graffiti addressed on District property?
Please contact (602) 506-1501 and request to speak with our Operations and Maintenance Division or submit an Inquiry Request which will be forwarded to our O&M Division.
Where can I find rainfall, structure storage and streamflow reports?
Where can I report flooding that I see in my area?
If you are experiencing an EMERGENCY, please call 911 for police, fire, and paramedics.
Non-emergency contact information can be found in the Storm Contact Information form. All residents are encouraged to share flooding photos at ReportAFlood.org, a site that was created to enable residents to view and share pictures and videos of current and past flooding incidents.
Where can I get sandbags to avoid flooding when we are to expect a storm or during a storm?
Call your local Fire Department to see if they have sandbags and sand. Availability may depend on the event.
Flooding is causing damage to my property. Who should I contact to inspect the damage?