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  • To reduce street flooding, the county’s Stormwater Utility is in the process of identifying, prioritizing and implementing local drainage projects throughout the county. However, if you see any flooding call (863) 534-6765.
  • All new construction in the county requires the issuance of building permits prior to construction.
  • Permits are obtained after the approval of building plans. An important part of this review process is the requirement that structures be built high enough and use proper design techniques to protect against flood damage.
  • If you plan to construct an addition to your house, build a new house, fill a property, or for any development, please call the Building Division, at (863) 534-6080, or visit us at 330 W. Church Street, Bartow, Florida 33830, where you can obtain information on how to request the necessary permitting.
  • If you see construction occurring without the proper permits, please call the Building Division, at (863) 534-6054, to report these activities. Remember, buildings constructed improperly can be dangerous.

Drainage System Maintenance

A drainage system is a system of pipes, drains and watercourses used to remove surface and sub-surface waters from an area. Because of the critical role these systems play in preventing flooding it is extremely important that they function correctly.

The county’s Code of Ordinances strictly forbids dumping or discharge of anything, other than stormwater, into the roadway drainage system. Illegal dumping or discharge is punishable by fines issued through Code Enforcement. You should report illegal dumping if you see it.


Violations should be reported to Parks and Natural Resources by telephone or email. Once they receive a complaint they investigate the problem within 72 hours and pursue corrective action. This includes enlisting the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office when they can identify a responsible party, such as draining to the county system through an illegal pipe.

Maintenance of the county’s drainage systems plays an important role in insuring that it functions properly. Generally, grassed swales and ditches are mowed quarterly for maintenance and dredged as needed to remove accumulated sediment to reduce the potential for flooding.

Any illicit discharges identified during maintenance are addressed upon reporting to us. Additionally, the county conducts six illicit discharge trainings each year for municipal staff to inform them on how to identify and report any issues.