As the agency responsible for local flood control, Lake Worth Drainage District’s permitting program helps us to manage our water resources by ensuring proper stormwater drainage and unencumbered access to canal right-of-ways.

The District requires a permit prior to commencement of any construction activities within our service boundary, including projects that connect to or utilize District canals and projects that require construction on or occupation of District property or canal rights-of-way.

The District issues several types of right-of-way permits including:

  • Construction drainage permits for residential, commercial and roadway construction
  • Canal crossing permits for utilities, bridges and culverts
  • Encroachment permits for fences, gates, signs and boat docks
  • Irrigation connection permits

Property owners who desire to connect to, place structures in or across, or make use of the District’s rights-of-way must submit the appropriate permit application The specific information required to be submitted depends on the type of project proposed. Applicants should refer to the District’s Operating Policy Manual and Maintained Canal Elevations Map for guidance.

Staff will review individual applications to ensure projects meet the criteria set forth in the District’s Operating Policies and do not interfere with District access, operations or maintenance activities. Some permit applications may require additional approval by the District’s Board of Supervisors.

The District recommends a pre-application meeting to:

  • Save time and streamline processes
  • Reduce requests for additional information during permit review
  • Resolve right-of-way issues prior to commencement
  • Allow time to resolve issues requiring Board approval

If additional right-of-way is required to allow adequate access for canal maintenance, conveyance of the parcel must be completed prior to permit issuance.  Conveyance is made by exclusive perpetual easement or warranty deed.

A District permit does not authorize any injury to private property or invasion of private rights, nor does it waive the governing requirements of any other agency or authority.

Issuance of a permit does not relieve the permittee from any obligation to obtain appropriate federal, state, regional and local approvals/permits. Projects located within District boundaries may also require an Environmental Resource or Water Use Permit from the South Florida Water Management District, which authorizes the construction and operation of a water management system to prevent flooding and protect water quality, wetlands and other surface waters.

Executed District permits must be displayed at project work sites.  District inspectors conduct periodic site visits to monitor progress and compliance.  The District conducts a final inspection following completion of the project.

Contact us with your permitting questions, or if you are unsure as to whether a permit is required for your project.  For technical assistance, permit applicants may wish to secure the services of a professional engineer, surveyor, and/or attorney licensed in the State of Florida.