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Frequently Asked Stormwater and Floodplain Questions



To request a flood hazard determination or obtain a copy of an elevation certificate via records request.

For specific questions about an elevation certificate: Call 480-312-2500  or send an email to rianderson@scottsdaleaz.gov

For specific questions about floodplain management regulations in Scottsdale: Call 480-312-2500 or send an email to acouch@scottsdaleaz.gov

For emergency street flooding: call Scottsdale Police Department at 480-312-5000.

  • Scottsdale participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, therefore, coverage is available to owners and renters of insurable property (buildings and/or their contents). For more information call Scottsdale's Stormwater Management staff at 480-312-2500.
  • Flood insurance may be purchased from any licensed property insurance agent or broker, i.e., most local insurance agents.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered nationally by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For more information on FEMA and the NFIPlinks to external site.

To ask questions about flooding or obtain a copy of any of the following publications, call Records at 480-312-2356 or fax your request to 480-312-7012:

  • Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Panel - please specify area
  • "Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program" - pamphlet
  • "Guide to Flood Insurance Rate Maps" (FIRMS) - pamphlet
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) websitelinks to external site 
  • The maintenance of drainage facilities in Scottsdale is generally the responsibility of the individual homeowner or the homeowner's association, even if the facility is located within a drainage easement dedicated to the city.
  • The city and the Flood Control District of Maricopa County maintain certain selected facilities within the city limits, usually larger regional flood control facilities.
  • For information about a facility at a specific location contact: Street Operations at 480-312-5460 or Stormwater Management at 480-312-2500.
  • If your house was built after 1990 the city should have an elevation certificate on file. If your house was built prior to 1989, a certificate probably does not exist unless you or a previous owner had one prepared. If your house was built in 1989 or 1990, there may be a certificate on file with the city. A property document search tool is available to locate a current or historical elevation certificate on file with the city.
  • If there isn't a certificate on file, you will have to hire a registered land surveyor or a professional civil engineer to prepare one for you. If you are located in Flood Zone A or AO, the home owner can prepare their own, but you will need to perform a survey and certify that it is correct. For more information or a copy of a blank form, call Stormwater Management at 480-312-2500 or visit https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/160links to external site.
  • Drinking water quality - Scottsdale Water Resources Department, call 480-312-5616
  • If you have a concern about stormwater quality, please call Water Quality 480-312-5650    
  • Surface Water Quality Hotline - AZ Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), call 602-207-4501
  • Complaints regarding rivers, lakes and streams - ADEQ, call 602-207-4506
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9, call 415-744-1305
  • To understand how a 100-year storm event is calculated, you need to first understand the concept of a watershed. A watershed is an area in which water drains to one location or point of accumulation. On land, water that does not evaporate or soak into the soil usually drains into ditches, streams, washes or lakes. The land area from which the water drains is called a watershed. When you were a small child, you may have had a favorite mud puddle in which you liked to play. The part of the yard from which the water drained into the puddle was its watershed.
  • For a 100-year storm to occur, all portions of a watershed must receive 3.4 inches of rainfall within six hours.
  • In central Arizona, there are generally two times each year when heavy rainstorms occur. The summer monsoon seasons are typically stronger and can produce large amounts of rainfall in short periods of time. The summer thunderstorms are smaller storm systems but could produce 100-year storm events within watersheds of one to 10 square miles. The winter storms, on the other hand, are larger in area and longer in duration. If enough rainfall occurred, these winter storms could produce 100-year storm events within larger watersheds.

Contact Information

Ashley Couch
Drainage and Flood Control Program Manager
Floodplain Administrator
P: 480-312-4317
ACouch@ScottsdaleAz.gov

Richard Anderson
Stormwater Review Manager
P: 480-312-2729
RiAnderson@ScottsdaleAz.gov

Don Gerkin
Senior Civil Engineer
P: 480-312-7903
DGerkin@ScottsdaleAz.gov