In South Florida, flood control is a shared responsibility and is achieved through an interconnected, three-tiered drainage system. This three-tiered system is made up of tertiary or neighborhood drainage systems
operated by property owners or residential associations, secondary drainage systems which are operated by the District, county or municipalities, and the primary system is operated by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). These three systems work together to provide effective flood control.
Water managers in charge of primary and secondary systems are continually monitoring the weather and canal levels to proactively respond to changes in canal elevations. In anticipation of a storm or heavy rainfall event, water managers will make operational adjustments to maintain appropriate water elevations for flood control. Additionally throughout the year, routine canal maintenance is conducted to provide unobstructed flow of water and clear access to canal rights-of- way.
Property owners and residential associations have a similar role. They must maintain their drainage infrastructure to ensure that inlets, pipes and discharge control structures are free of potential blockages and working as designed thus maintaining the flow of stormwater. Annual inspection of drainage infrastructure should be made and repairs should be completed before the start of storm season.
The public also plays a key role in emergency response. Unauthorized enhancements on canal rights-of-way such as landscaping, fences, swing-sets and patio furniture, can severely hinder the District's ability to access its water control structures and canals. Vegetation and other encroachments along the canals may cause blockages, slow the progression of drainage and reduce response time in an emergency event. Visit our website at www.lwdd.net/canal-maintenance/encroachment-removal and try to identify all the encroachments pictured.