Page 9 - PGA Community News - March '23
P. 9

March 2023                                                                March 2023                                                    PGA C.A.N.!, Page 9
      Northern Notes

      Know The Flow                                                                                        What Can You Do To Help?

      By Katie Roundtree,                                                                                  Residents And Business Owners
      Director of Finance and                                                                                 ○ Make sure drainage gates, ditches and swales in your
      Administration, Northern                                                                             neighborhood are clear of debris.
      Palm Beach County                                                                                       ○ Remove loose items, including yard debris, from
      Improvement District                                                                                 your yard. Debris and litter can clog storm drains and
         Flood control in Florida                                                                          cause flooding.
      is a shared responsibility                                                                              ○ Check your community retention pond or lake for
      that provides  maximum                                                                               obstructed pipes and contact the appropriate authority
      benefit only when all                                                                                for removal (could be your HOA, city, county, or local
      components (primary,                                                                                 drainage district).
      secondary and tertiary) are                                                                             ○ Find out who is responsible for drainage in your
      designed and constructed                                                                             community. Visit
      to work together and are maintained in proper working                                                Homeowner Association Officials
      order. Florida is more complex than many states, where      The “secondary” drainage system is usually a network      Familiarize yourself with your particular drainage
      one entity is usually responsible for providing local and   of canals, structures, pumping stations and storage areas.   system and how it fits into the overall south Florida
      regional drainage for the community. Some areas have no   These systems can cover several hundred square miles and   drainage picture. Specifically, learn how the system
      formal drainage systems and are prone to routine flooding;   serve many communities. In communities maintained by   works and how to maintain the facilities  under  your
      others may be covered by several organizations or   Northern, storm water systems are gravity-fed or pumped   responsibility properly.
      governments providing varying service levels. Depending   using storm water pump stations. Water moves through      Report the location and condition of any clogged or
      on conditions, water may have to be routed through   a series of lakes and canals via weirs (fixed structures),   damaged facilities to the proper authority (homeowner
      several interconnected, though independent, conveyance   operable gates and pump stations. These systems move   association, city, county or local drainage district, or the
      systems – each of which must be properly maintained and   water through multiple communities at times, so the   South Florida Water Management District) in advance of
      functioning – to provide flood protection for south Florida   “downstream” effects must be considered when moving   and during the summer rainy season. Please make a note
      neighborhoods.                                     water from one area to another. The storm water systems   of important telephone numbers and keep them handy.
         So, what path does storm water typically follow from   discharge into local canals managed by either Northern      NPDES tip: Your  neighborhood drainage system
      your neighborhood to its final destination? Here’s an   or other municipalities. Northern uses a telemetry system   is not a garbage disposal – don’t treat it like one.
      example. Five inches of rain falls in 24 hours over an   to monitor and remotely open and close gates and pumps.   Encourage  residents  to  take  responsibility  and  to  not
      inland community. This rain follows a wet period, so   Weather conditions and water levels are monitored around   dump chemicals, fertilizer, paint, oil, etc. in inlets or
      groundwater levels are already high. According to most   the clock. These systems discharge water in the “primary”   pipes. Discourage sweeping of lawn clippings and dirt
      approved  drainage designs, some  water  is temporarily   flood control system as long as carrying capacity is   into street drains and disposing of lawn clippings and
      stored in public recreational areas, yard swales and streets.   available.                           other debris (wood, concrete blocks, Christmas trees, etc.)
      The excess surface water slowly drains to community      Finally,  the  water  flows  to  the  “primary”  drainage   directly into retention lakes. Keep drainage facilities clear
      lakes or on-site ponds via street and yard drainage grates,   system operated by the South Florida Water Management   of vegetation, trash, improperly and illegally discarded
      swales, ditches or canals. Water then drains from the   District (SFWMD) or other natural waterways. Floodgates   appliances, shopping carts, tires, cars, garbage bags, etc.
      community or “tertiary” system through underground   may be opened, and water levels might be lowered in
      pipes to the “secondary” system, in this area mainly   anticipation of heavy rains to accommodate direct rainfall
      operated by Northern Palm Beach County Improvement   and inflows from the “secondary” systems. During and
      District (Northern) or the city or county. Maintenance and   after heavy rains, excess water is routed through all
      upkeep of community drainage facilities are typically the   available “primary” waterways to regional storage areas
      responsibility of homeowner associations.          or coastal discharge points to relieve flooding as quickly
                                                         and safely as possible.
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