As part of the District’s canal rehabilitation program, staff annually evaluates the 500 miles of canals and associated rights-of-way within our boundaries and completes projects in priority order. Depending on the state of a canal, rehabilitation projects may include:
- Removal of vegetative encroachments
- Removal of structural and non-structural encroachments
- Dredging of the canal channel
- Reshaping or reconstruction of the canal bank
- For more information watch our Canal Rehabilitation Video.
This work is necessary to facilitate effective flood control for public safety and provide unobstructed access for emergency flood control response and routine canal maintenance. Residents adjacent to canal rehabilitation projects are notified of the pending work and provided adequate time to remove or relocated encroaching vegetation or structures. Any remaining unauthorized encroachments will be removed and disposed of by the District. Find rehabilitation projects scheduled in your neighborhood visit www.lwdd.net/canal-maintenance/neighborhood
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is Canal Rehabilitation project being done?
A: Over the years, certain portions of canal rights-of-way have become encumbered by encroachments that can obstruct the District’s ability to provide flood control. The Canal Rehabilitation Program has been developed to identify these canal areas and systematically remove these encroachments. Vegetative and structural encroachments located on the District’s canal rights-of-way can create obstructions to water flow during heavy rainfall events and/or hinder the District’s ability to properly maintain the canal, both of which can cause serious flooding issues for surrounding neighborhoods.
Q: Why are you removing vegetation on my property?
A: The District is not removing vegetation on your property. The District is removing nuisance and exotic vegetation from the District’s right-of-way adjacent to your property. If there is nuisance and exotic vegetation on your property adjacent to the District right-of-way that could become a storm hazard to the canal and you would like to have it removed, the District will consider removal on a case-by-case basis contingent on the property owner signing a Right-of-Entry/Hold Harmless Agreement which authorizes the District to perform work on privately-owned lands.
Q: There has never been a problem in the past. Why is it a problem now?
A: Just because the trees/encroachments have not been a problem in the past does not guarantee that they will not fall into the canal and become a problem in the future. The District requires a clear unencumbered right-of-way for emergency response. Another ancillary benefit to a right-of-way clear of vegetative and structural encroachments is faster restoration of residential power following a storm event (clear right-of-way facilitates utilities restoration efforts).
Q: What can be done to improve my view after the project is completed?
A: The primary purpose of drainage canals is providing flood control, not aesthetics. To improve aesthetics, you can plant vegetation and/or construct fencing on your property, outside of the District’s right-of-way.
Q: Will the canal bank be sodded and replanted?
A: No, the canal banks are not typically sodded. The mulch is left in-place to promote natural recruitment of native vegetation. After removal of encroachments the canal right-of-way will not be replanted. The District’s canal rights-of-way are public property and exists solely for canal operation and maintenance.
Q: I relied on the fence/hedge/vegetation/etc. for security/for my dogs/for my kids/etc. What am I supposed to do now?
A: You can either build a new fence/hedge/structure/barrier or relocate your existing fence/hedge/structure/barrier outside of the District’s canal right-of-way to secure your property.