2014 Agency Highlights & Accomplishments

Executive Director reports significant progress at Annual Landowners’ meeting

Reflecting on a year of activities, accomplishments and progress, Lake Worth Drainage District Executive Director Robert M. Brown presented a “State of the District” address during the recent Annual Landowners’ Meeting on January 7, 2015.

The year began with an unprecedented rainfall event on January 9, 2014. Described by the National Weather Service as South Florida’s top weather story of the year, the record-breaking event dropped more than 22 inches in the Boynton Beach/Hypoluxo area east of I-95. Some of these areas experienced approximately 15 inches of rain in just three hours. This extreme volume of rain during a very short duration exceeded stormwater system designs for several older communities that were constructed prior to current regulations.

To further enhance the District’s water control operations, the agency is investing significant resources on future infrastructure improvements. Last year, planning began on the development and implementation of a telemetry system that will automate the operation of 10 water control structures. This enhanced technology will transmit real-time data on canal water elevations and allow water managers remote access to make immediate water supply and flood control decisions. Additionally, the District initiated development of a Capital Improvement Plan to facilitate the maintenance and refurbishment of the public water control infrastructure.

Throughout 2014, the agency’s streamlined Operations & Maintenance staff successfully completed numerous infrastructure projects, including stabilization of deteriorating canal banks, removal of trees impeding access to canal rights-of-way, and refurbishment of several aging water control structures. In addition to the systematic mowing of the District’s 500 miles of canal banks, field staff also began the installation of improved vegetation barriers in canals and increased mechanical removal of aquatic vegetation to reduce dependency on chemical treatment.

The District successfully managed its $13 million annual budget and continues its commitment to seek efficiencies while enhancing the level of service for our constituents. Considerable savings were realized in maintenance costs through equipment leasing programs and the replacement of inefficient vehicles and equipment.

To further increase communication and engage the public, the District launched a redesigned website which offers easier navigation and access to timely information, and established a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, the District made considerable progress in 2014 to improve our flood control infrastructure and implement new technology to realize future efficiencies,” said Brown. “I am proud of the agency’s accomplishments and look forward to a very productive 2015.”

Click here to view the entire State of the District presentation.

Board Supervisors Elected and Affirmed

January 14, 2015 marked the 100th installation of Supervisors

On January 7, 2015, the Annual Landowners’ meeting concluded with the election of two incumbent board members, John I. Whitworh, III and Jeffrey P. Phipps, Sr.  Subsequently, both officers took the oath of office at the regularly scheduled monthly board meeting on January 14, 2015.

A ceremonial installation to mark the 100th Board of Supervisors is planned for later in the year and will include additional members of the board: Harry Raucher, President, Joyce D. Haley, Senior Vice President and James M. Alderman, Supervisor. For more information on individual board members click here.

Flood Control: A Year-Round Responsibility

South Florida’s dry season provides opportunity for wet season preparation

Flood control is a year-round responsibility. South Florida’s dry season runs from approximately November through May. This is an ideal time of year for residential communities to conduct inspections of their drainage infrastructure and make any necessary repairs. Taking time during the dry season will help ensure that communities are prepared for the upcoming wet season.

A community’s drainage infrastructure includes swales, inlets, lakes and ponds, underground pipes and control structures. To ensure a well-maintained drainage system, communities should:

  • Maintain swale areas by removing encumbrances and mowing regularly
  • Clear debris from inlets
  • Conduct quarterly inspections of discharge points/outfalls into District canals
  • Have underground pipes inspected every three to five years depending on the age of the community
  • Exercise operable control structures by opening and closing them at least twice a year
  • Visually inspect fixed control structures for structural integrity and potential blockages

During the dry season, many community lakes may experience more noticeable and frequent changes in water elevation. These fluctuations may cause erosion exposing the littoral shelf, sometimes called the “bathtub ring.” Planting of littoral vegetation or use of other bank stabilizing products may aid with erosion and improve the aesthetics for residents.

The dry season also provides an opportune time for communities with operable control structures to register with the District by completing the Internal Drainage Authorized Contacts form. Registration is important to ensure the District knows who is authorized to act on behalf of communities during emergencies.

District staff is available to answer questions, arrange on-site visits or speak at community meetings. Visit the District website for more information or e-mail us at info@lwdd.net.

Water Conservation Makes a Difference

Simple, no-cost changes can save considerable water

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an American family of four uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day. On average, nearly 70 percent of that water is used indoors. It is easy to take water for granted. Without giving much thought, we simply turn on the faucet and out it flows. However, during the dry season (typically November-May) we may be affected by low groundwater/lake levels, thirsty landscaping and water restrictions. One easy, no-cost way to assist is through water conservation. Here are five simple changes you can apply to make a difference:

  1. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save four gallons of water per minute. That is more than 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
  2. Turning off the water while you shave can save more than 100 gallons of water a week.
  3. Each toilet flush eliminated can save between two and seven gallons of water.
  4. Keeping your shower under five  minutes can save up to 1000 gallons a month.
  5. Turning off water while shampooing and conditioning hair can save 50 gallons a week.