Property owners who desire to connect to, place structures in or across, or make use of the District’s canal rights-of-way must submit the appropriate permit application. 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. It is always recommended to check with the District and review your survey to verify property lines before any construction project. Don’t waste your time and money, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your permitting questions or if you are unsure as to whether a permit is required for your project.
The public plays a key role in emergency flood response.
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.
Discover the origins of the LWDD. Through photos and narratives, viewers will learn how the District developed into one of the largest drainage districts in the State of Florida and discover its important water management mission. Visit our website and begin your journey through 100 years of LWDD history at www.lwdd.net/resources/videos-publications#toggle-id-2.
The excessive rainfall quantities received were not forecasted and therefore no ‘pre storm’ operations were initiated. For the previous several months, no releases from the system were required due to excessively low groundwater levels and corresponding low lake levels observed in communities across LWDD as a result of consistent deficit rainfall during the dry season. As rainfall accumulations were noted and revised forecasts released by the National Weather Service, LWDD responded by incrementally opening the major water control structures during the day on 6/6/17; ultimately making maximum flood releases by the evening of the 6th. For more information click here.
Managing canal water elevations is a balancing act
The District’s water management system helps to protect regional water supplies for more than 700,000 residents and an estimated 10,000 acres of agricultural land. During normal operations, canal water levels are maintained to hold water higher than sea level to prevent saltwater from encroaching and polluting existing freshwater wells for numerous municipal water utilities. Water managers are continually monitoring weather systems and canal levels to proactively respond to heavy rainfall events. In anticipation of a heavy rainfall event, the District water control structures are opened to maintain appropriate water levels in the system. As gates are opened, water is discharged to the ocean and cannot be recovered for water supply. These freshwater discharges may also adversely impact environmentally sensitive areas such as the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Each weather event has its own characteristics and must be managed as it develops. Radar and other weather reporting technology, along with constant communication with emergency management entities, are utilized to assist District staff responding to weather events. Currently, significant investments are being made to enhance flood control and public safety operations with the installation of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. SCADA will essentially automate the operation of 10 major water control structures within the District’s service boundary. The system will allow for the remote operation of flood control gates and pumps to react immediately to changes in water levels. As water levels rise, the flood control gates will automatically open for flood protection. Similarly, as water levels return to normal the gates will close. This is a multi-year project that includes electrical upgrades, tower installations, mechanical enhancements and software applications. Residents can monitor the progress of the project on our website at www.lwdd.net/managing-water/scada-project.
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Contact the LWDD
Lake Worth Drainage District
13081 S. Military Trail
Delray Beach, FL 33484
Phone: (561) 498-5363
Fax: (561) 495-9694
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
M-F except Holidays.
After hour emergencies: