Palm Beach County Drainage Requirement PB-O-128

What Does This Drainage Requirement Mean for Palm Beach County?

Florida may be known as the Sunshine State, but water is a major factor here. After all, it’s the fifth rainiest state in the U.S., with an average annual rainfall of roughly 54 inches. Both residential and commercial property owners must recognize that managing water effectively is essential. Any failure to do so endangers the health and security of their properties. Clearly, excellent drainage systems are vital. Palm Beach County requirement PB-O-128 offers guidance regarding fill and grading activities.

Defining Palm Beach County Drainage Requirement PB-O-128

Palm Beach County requirement PB-O-128 is a thirteen-page memorandum that details policies and procedures for filling and grading. Effective as of August 2022, it contains guidance on what is acceptable, information regarding inspection procedures, and warnings that failure to comply will lead to enforcement actions.

Requirement PB-O-128 is publicly available, so anyone can read it. We’re sharing general information here. However, interpreting this memo and applying it to a particular situation is often best done with professional insight. We encourage you to contact DKK Consulting if you have specific questions or are seeking advice.

Understanding Why Requirement PB-O-128 Matters

Requirement PB-O-128 was written to establish a clear policy for the county that allows for “reasonable on-site fill” that complies with county, state, and federal regulations. Doing so helps to prevent negative impacts from unregulated fill activities and protect the area’s natural resources. It also helps to maintain the viability of “existing and historically compliant drainage conveyance on developed and undeveloped lots of record outside of platted subdivisions with a master stormwater management system.”

Property owners who are contemplating any type of fill, draining, or grading activity need to be aware of requirement PB-O-128. If your property falls under its umbrella, it sets standards for the type of fill that’s acceptable. In addition, it limits how much fill can be placed without a permit.

Limiting the Type of Fill

Under requirement PB-O-128, only clean fill is permissible. This includes topsoil, dirt, sand, gravel, brick, concrete, cement, and rubble. However, these materials must be no larger than 3 inches in any dimension, and the soil matrix must be stable enough to support a building foundation.

Biological waste and organic materials are not allowed. This includes food scraps and yard waste. Contaminated soil, cardboard, paper products, metal, asphalt, glass, tires, and plastics are also forbidden. 

Limiting the Amount of Fill Without a Permit

Property owners and their representatives may place up to 20 cubic yards of minor fill within 24 months to maintain a developed property. Acceptable uses would be driveway maintenance, gardening, or landscaping.

What if someone is developing a new property or tackling a project that calls for larger amounts of fill? They’ll probably need a permit.

Protecting Surrounding Properties

Requirement PB-O-128 doesn’t require residents to promise to be good neighbors. However, it does make it clear that property owners have a responsibility to their community regarding stormwater management.

Whenever a fill or grading project is in the works, protection of surrounding properties from adverse impacts is a must. It doesn’t matter whether their project is large or small. Property owners must consider drainage and ensure that no uncontrolled runoff escapes their property to trespass onto surrounding properties.

In addition, property owners are required to preserve existing stormwater storage on their properties. For example, if a property has a pond, it can’t be filled in unless an alternative storage site is created.

Seeking a Permit

Since all new lot improvements and development activities that involve filling or grading now require a permit, seeking a permit will be a popular activity. Instructions for securing a permit can be found in requirement PB-O-128. The details vary depending on the size, location, and condition of your property. If you’re working with a professional on your project, they may arrange for any permits necessary. 

DKK Consulting has a solid understanding of the complexities underlying drainage design, stormwater management, and compliance. If you’re curious about how Palm Beach County’s requirement PB-O-128 impacts your plans, contact us for more information. A civil engineering firm based in Palm Beach County, DKK Consulting thrives on meeting our clients’ needs. We delight in offering an expansive menu of residential and commercial services, including drainage design, project design, resource management, and land development. To discover more about our services and how they can benefit your next project, contact DKK Consulting today.