Page 6 - Jupiter Spotlight - September '19
P. 6

Page 6, Jupiter Spotlight
      Northern Notes

      Streets, Swales And                                Streets And Stormwater Management                 highways and residential streets. Today, swales not only direct
                                                                                                           stormwater but also help filter runoff and reduce pollutants.
                                                           Many streets are designed and built with curb and gutter
      Stormwater Management                              along the street and with storm sewers underneath the     A swale slows down the rapid flow of stormwater runoff
                                                         pavement. The curbs and gutters direct stormwater from   by ponding water between its sloping sides, often called
      By O’Neal Bardin, Jr.,                             the pavement into the storm sewers. These storm sewers   berms. The ponding not only slows the rate of flow but allows
      Executive Director,                                not only collect water from the roadway, but also connect   pollutants to settle out of the water. Ponding facilitates water
      Northern Palm Beach                                to other drainage systems to collect water from yards and   quality improvements through infiltration, filtration and
      County Improvement                                 subdivisions and transport the stormwater to lakes, canals   sedimentary deposition. Collected stormwater is expected
      District                                           and other outlets.                                to drain away through the soil within several hours or days.
      Streets                                              Did you know that in very heavy rains, some water   When the swale becomes full, the cleaner surface water will
        Streets are an                                   standing in streets or swales is part of the flood control design   spill over the berm and slowly run into a local water body.
      important part of Northern                         plan and is expected? Your neighborhood lake’s water level   Eventually, the remaining ponded water will either evaporate
      Palm Beach County                                  may seem to rise alarmingly, but that’s not likely to last. If the   or infiltrate into the soil.
      Improvement District’s                             system in your neighborhood is working properly, levels will   Maintain Proper Swales
      overall Stormwater                                 return to normal soon after the rain has stopped. A heavier,     • Let water pond. Runoff should temporarily pond in the
      Management System. Both                            more widespread and longer-lasting storm will require more   swale for 24 to 36 hours, sometimes even up to 72 hours.
      the storm sewers located                           time for local, secondary and regional systems to absorb     • Mow the swale but keep it at a good grass growth. Tall
      below the street, ditches or swales located along the street,   the excess water. Because these flood control systems are   grass slows water movement.
      and the roadway itself serve to convey stormwater to   connected, what’s happening upstream or downstream from     • Remove and compost leaves and grass clippings from
      designed locations. At times blockages can occur, which   your neighborhood also has an impact.      swales.
      can cause undesired flooding conditions that may cause   Keep It Clear                                 • Minimize use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides
      roads to become impassable. It is important to understand     Many stormwater blockages in streets occur due to clogged   within 50 feet of a swale.
      the basics of how streets are used to convey stormwater,   storm sewer inlets. If there is an inlet in the street adjacent     • Do not pile garbage, trash, leaves, limbs or garden
      in order to identify when problems may occur.      to your home, residents are asked to keep this drain clear of   debris in swales— this adds pollutants which can wash into
                                                         all obstructions including leaves, grass and debris. Debris at   downstream waters.
                                                         storm sewer inlets also build up after a storm event, which     • Do not pave the swale — this reduces the filtration and
        Sea Turtle Released from page 1                  is a good time to check the inlet to make sure that the system   infiltration of runoff.
                                                         will work well in the next storm.                   • Do not park vehicles in the swale— this compacts the
        exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach   Too Deep To Drive?                      soil so less runoff soaks in. It also destroys the vegetation
        Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing.     If during or after a rain event you arrive upon a roadway   in the swale that is needed to filter the pollutants out of the
        Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle   where you cannot determine the depth of the water in the   water.
        nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open   street – for your own safety – do not drive down the street.     • Do not alter the design of the swale. Any changes will
        daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge each   Find an alternate route.                 require a permit as they may affect drainage.
        year. The center’s conservation team works with 90 local   Swales                                    Please keep in mind that there is a direct link between what
        and international organizations across six continents     Chances are if you’ve lived in South Florida long enough,   we do around our home and the water quality of our canals,
        to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives   you’ve heard at least one person refer to a “swale.” A swale   ponds, lakes and wetlands.
        and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean   is a graded and engineered grassy area of land appearing as     NPDES tip: It is important to never dump any debris,
        conservation. The center is expanding and has launched   a linear, shallow, open channel, that stretches from the edge   including but not limited to landscape waste, garbage or
        its  Waves  of  Progress  capital  expansion  campaign,   of the sidewalk in front of homes (or the property line if there   chemicals into a storm sewer inlet. While bulky materials can
        designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation   is no sidewalk) to the edge of the street. Swales are typically   cause flooding, chemicals and other wastes that are dumped
        and education impact. When complete, the facility will   vegetated with flood tolerant, erosion resistant plants. Swales   into a storm sewer eventually drain into lakes and canals,
        offer  one  of  the  world’s  most  advanced  and  unique   are one of the most commonly used stormwater practices. For   which threaten fish and wildlife and pollute the water. Please
        experiences for guests and scientific partners. For more   many years, swales have been used to direct runoff from rural   check our website for information regarding illegal dumping.
        information, visit or call (561) 627-8280.

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