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A floodplain is the lowland adjacent to a river, lake or creek.

Floodplains are designated by the frequency of the flood that is large enough to cover them, for example, the 10-year, 25-year or 100-year floodplain. Flood frequencies are determined by plotting a graph of the size of all known floods for an area and determining how often floods of a particular size occur.

Another way of expressing the flood frequency is the chance of occurrence in a given year, which is the percentage of the probability of flooding each year. For example, the 100-year flood has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year.
Most of the known floodplains in the U.S. have been mapped by the Flood Insurance Administration, one of the parts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Copies of all of these maps for Independence are kept by Public Works.
Anyone can purchase flood insurance, whether their property is in the floodplain or not, so check with your insurance agent. For floodplain information, call (816) 325-7618 or email

Grading is any excavating or filling or combination of both.

Grading may change the contour of the land and may alter drainage. A permit is required if more than 50 cubic yards of dirt will be moved. The fee for the permit is dependent on the number of cubic yards to be moved.

Permits may be required for clearing and grubbing work depending on the size and type of work being done.  Please contact Shaun Carter for information regarding grading, or clearing and grubbing work. Call (816) 325-7613 or e-mail

Erosion is the removal of soil particles by the flow of water.

Erosion Control
Grading and clearing work can cause erosion. Proper measures are required to prevent erosion. These may include silt fencing or hay bales. The fee for an erosion control permit is $150 per acre. For more information, call (816) 325-7613 or e-mail

Roadside Ditching
Normally, ditches are the homeowner's responsibility to maintain. Public Works does have a program for re-grading ditches at the homeowners request.  Public Works does not clean leaves or trash out of ditches unless they are creating a flooding situation. For more information, call (816) 325-7626 or e-mail

Crossroad Pipes
Public Works Street Maintenance cleans and replaces crossroad pipes. Accepted storm sewer systems are maintained by the Water Pollution Control Department.  Curbs and gutters are the property owner's responsibility to maintain. For more information, call (816) 325-7626 or e-mail

Driveway Pipes
Property owners are responsible for cleaning and maintaining driveway pipes. Public Works does have a program for replacing driveway pipes at the property owner's expense. Driveway pipes are generally in the right-of-way, so replacement would require a permit. For more information, call (816) 325-7626 or e-mail

Drainage on Your Property
To protect your basement from flooding, the ground should slope away from your house. Down spouts should drain away from the house's foundation but should not drain onto your neighbor's property! For more information, call (816) 325-7613 or e-mail

Septic Systems
Septic systems are installed in areas where no public sewers are available. New lots must be at least 3 acres for a septic system. A permit ($10) is required for all new systems and repairs to existing systems. Systems are inspected to ensure compliance with Missouri Department of Health rules. Permits may be obtained at the Public Works Department on the third floor of City Hall. For more information, call (816) 325-7613 or email

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