Occurring anytime of the year, our tropical rain storms can be intense and seriously threaten property and life. In response, Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD) staff monitors canal elevations daily and coordinates the operations of its water control structures. Water control structures act like dams, allowing stormwater to be released or held back depending on the conditions. The automated technology used to operate the LWDD’s water control structures is called Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). As water rises in the canal and reaches a pre-determined elevation, SCADA will slowly open control structures releasing water for flood control. Similarly, as water elevations return to normal levels the control structure gates will close, holding water back for conservation and water supply demands. In anticipation of severe weather, District staff can override the automated SCADA system and make manual adjustments.
Additionally, SCADA technology eliminates the need for LWDD staff to venture out during dangerous weather conditions to operate control structures. If needed, staff can adjust a control structure via a mobile device from any location, thus significantly reducing response time. Another advantage to SCADA, is the capture of operational data by the system which can be used to evaluate future water supply needs and historical flood control responses. This data can be shared with regional water management partners for enhanced flood control coordination and water conservation measures.
With approximately 500 miles of canals and 20 major water control structures, the Lake Worth Drainage District is one of the largest water control districts in Florida. We are proud to provide our residents with this enhanced water management technology and dependable flood control.