Be Proactive With Drainage

Come rain or shine, the Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD) oversees the operation and maintenance of approximately 500 miles of canals. Throughout the year LWDD operates 20 major water control structures in order to release or hold back water depending on conditions. However, effective flood control takes more than just LWDD. Property owners also have a role to play in the overall flood control system.

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 are operated by LWDD, county or municipalities, and the primary system operated by regional water management entities like the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

The role of property owners and residential associations is like LWDD in that they manage stormwater within their property boundary. They achieve this with the use of swales and stormwater ponds. The swales and ponds provide both water quality and flood control functions. Property owners and residential associations must maintain their drainage infrastructure to ensure that swales, catch basins, underground pipes and discharge control structures are working as designed.

South Florida’s dry season runs from approximately October to May. This time of the year is ideal to conduct inspections of drainage infrastructure and make any necessary repairs. Additionally, January and April are when many residential boards hold elections and may change property management companies. LWDD requires that these changes be provided to us as soon as possible. This will ensure the correct individuals are receiving important weather alerts and flood control instructions.

As leaders in your community, do not be caught off guard with drainage failures. Be proactive during this dry season to ensure that your infrastructure is ready for the coming rains. For more information and to submit your contact information, visit