Older woman looking out the window

Flood Control – Need to Know

Flood control does not equal flood proof. Heavy rainfall in a short period may result in flooding, even with a well-engineered and maintained system. Residents can prepare for potential flooding by storing items in waterproof containers 6 inches or more from the ground, moving cars from lower to higher ground if flooding is expected and keeping storm drains clear of trash and vegetative debris.

Water leaves your neighborhood through an interconnected 3-tiered system:

  1. Neighborhood excess water drains into community ponds through street and yard drains. Stormwater then flows through underground pipes to the next link in the flood control chain – the Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD) canals.
  2. LWDD canals move excess water to a larger-capacity regional flood control system – the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).
  3. The regional canal system channels excess water to storage areas or coastal discharge points.

When a neighborhood pond discharges water to LWDD, it does so through a discharge control structure. Whether the control structure is in the open or closed position, excess water will continue to drain from the pond until the proper water elevation is achieved.

LWDD is unique in that we are the only drainage district in the area authorized by the SFWMD to permit the emergency opening of discharge control structures by communities. This authorization is given before a weather event to increase capacity in a stormwater pond. Coordinating this operation with the community is an important part of flood control.

LWDD works closely with property managers and community boards to manage potential flooding. However, residents should note that some standing water in roads, sidewalks and yards is normal and required to keep flood water away from homes.

Residents should first report flooding issues to their property manager because the situation may have already been identified and addressed. Additionally, residents can provide storm damage reports and flooding issues online at lwdd.net/storm-response.