Did You Know?

As Manager of Operations for South Indian River Water Control District (SIRWCD), I have found there are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation out there regarding exactly what services the District offers and what it's capabilities are as a Special District.

 

This page will highlight some of the most common questions we get from our landowners and will attempt to answer those questions and clarify what we do.

 

Michael A. Dillon, Manager of Operations

 

Prepare for the 2017 Hurricane Season

May 10, 2017 - As the 2017 hurricane season approaches, now is a good time to take a few minutes to inspect your driveway culvert for any potential problems. This is important because the culvert plays an important role in stormwater runoff, not only for you, but for your neighbors as well.

 

If you are not sure about the condition of your culvert, here is a list of things you should look for:

1) A depression along the length of the culvert

2) Sink holes in the driveway over the top of the culvert

3) Separation between your concrete or asphalt driveways and the culvert

4) Sediment buildup in the culvert

 

If you notice any of these issues with your driveway culvert, please contact our office at 561-747-0550 or sirwcd@sirwcd.org with your questions or to schedule a District inspection. If it is determined that your culvert needs to be replaced, our Office Staff will explain the process to you.

 

Don’t wait until it is too late. What only takes a few minutes now, can save you a lot trouble down the road.

 

El Nino Year Means Wet Conditions for SIRWCD

January 11, 2016 - Weather experts have been talking about it since last spring and their predictions have been right on the money. The El Nino of 2015-2016 is the strongest on record and South Indian River Water Control District has felt its effects. The last time an El Nino of this magnitude had formed in the Pacific was the winter of 1997-1998 and it wreaked havoc over much of the country. That winter, SIRWCD recorded over 17 inches of rain between the months of December and February and forecasters are calling for much of the same with this El Nino.

 

What does that mean for SIRWCD? RAIN, RAIN, AND MORE RAIN! December was one of the wettest on record with almost 11 inches recorded at the District. Over the last 10 years, our average rainfall from December through February is just over 9 inches combined. Wetter conditions mean drainage swales will have more water for longer periods, roads become saturated and at times may hold water, and of course, those pesky mosquitoes appear, something we are not accustomed to seeing this time of year.

 

With the official rainy season just around the corner, please take a moment to inspect your driveway culvert and swale area for any signs of drainage issues, and feel free to contact the District for any assistance needed. I wish I had better news regarding the El Nino forecast, but let’s hope that this upcoming hurricane season will be just as quiet as last year!

 

Hurricane Season is Here - Are You Ready?

June 30, 2015- It’s hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since Hurricane Wilma paid us an unwelcome visit. We have been fortunate the last decade and this year’s forecast is calling for another quiet season, but like the old saying goes, it only takes one storm to make it busy.

 

At South Indian River Water Control District, there are two key components that help protect life and property in the event of a storm. One is our maintenance program and the other is our emergency plan. Throughout the year, we are constantly inspecting and replacing drainage culverts to restore proper stormwater runoff management throughout the District. We monitor our canals for debris or heavy vegetation and either remove or spray the potential blockage to make sure the canals are clear and functioning.

 

We also work with the landowners regarding driveway culvert replacements and swale maintenance. Now would be a good time for landowners to inspect their driveway culverts for erosion and sediment buildup. It is the responsibility of the landowner to keep their driveway culverts cleaned out and to replace any culvert when it becomes inoperable. These culverts, when fully functional, provide proper stormwater runoff not only for you, but for your neighbors as well. They also aid in draining stormwater from the internal swales to the main canal system. Here is a checklist of things you should look for:

 

• Signs of erosion around the culvert ends and/or excessive rust build-up
• Cracks or areas that might have settled leaving a gap between your concrete or asphalt driveway and the culvert
• Sink holes or depressions in dirt driveway at the top of the culvert
• Sediment buildup in the culvert (particularly after a heavy rainfall)

 

If you notice any of these issues, call the District office at 561-747-0550 to schedule an inspection. If your culvert needs to be replaced, we will remove the old culvert and then set the swale at the proper elevation. You are responsible for the purchase and installation of the new culvert, as well as the placement of concrete or rip-rap headwalls or sod to prevent erosion around the culvert ends. Don’t wait until it’s too late – inspect your culverts regularly and report any issues that might necessitate a replacement.

 

The District’s emergency plan is a coordinated effort with other local and state agencies before, during, and after a storm. The District works closely with the South Florida Water Management District to receive the latest information on an approaching storm. They also provide assistance in flood control for Jupiter Farms with the G-92 and S-46 water control structures.

 

After the storm, we work with Palm Beach County to ensure the roads are clear of debris for emergency vehicles, we locate and mark any downed power lines, and assist landowners who may be in need. When a storm threatens our area, all of our operators are placed on standby, and if possible, will report shortly after the storm passes. I have been through five hurricanes since I moved to Florida and I wasn’t prepared in the first one. That didn’t happen again! Be ready – inspect your driveway culvert, make sure your swale is clear of any blockages, trim your trees early, and report anything you feel may be an issue in the event of a storm. Our website offers many tips and links on what you can do to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm, as well as what to do after a storm impacts our area. Please visit our Emergencies page to learn more.

 

Driveway Culvert Inspections

March 30, 2015 - With the rainy season just a few months away, now would be a good time for landowners to inspect their driveway culverts for erosion and sediment buildup. It is the responsibility of the landowner to keep their driveway culverts cleaned out and to replace any culvert when it becomes inoperable. These culverts, when fully functional, provide proper stormwater runoff not only for you, but for your neighbors as well. They also aid in draining stormwater from the internal swales to the main canal system. If you’re not sure about the condition of your culvert, here is a checklist of things you should look for:

 

• Signs of erosion around the culvert ends
• Excessive rust build-up
• Cracks or areas that might have settled leaving a gap between your concrete or asphalt driveway and the culvert

• Sink holes or depressions in dirt driveway at the top of the culvert
• Sediment buildup in the culvert (particularly after a heavy rainfall)


If you notice any of these issues, call the District office at 561-747-0550 to schedule an inspection. If your culvert needs to be replaced, we will remove the old culvert and then set the swale at the proper elevation. You are responsible for the purchase and installation of the new culvert, as well as the placement of concrete or rip-rap headwalls or sod to prevent erosion around the culvert ends. Don’t wait until it’s too late - inspect your culverts regularly and report any issues that might necessitate a replacement.

 

Services the District Provides

February 6, 2015 - I have heard that SIRWCD has been discussed quite a bit on Facebook® recently by a number of our landowners. I have to admit, I’m not a “Facebook guy,” but recently spoke to a few people who follow it daily. I was quite surprised to hear how often the District is referenced for services that we actually don’t even provide! I hope this article will help clarify what services the District does and doesn’t offer its residents.

 

ROADWAYS

The District grades over one hundred miles of dirt roads on a weekly basis in Jupiter Farms and Palm Beach Country Estates. We also monitor and repair roads that have been surfaced with either open-graded emulsified mix (OGEM) and asphalt by the District through landowner-initiated improvement projects. We do not repair paved roads that belong to Palm Beach County. These roads feature striping and reflectors, whereas the District-constructed roadways do not.

 

Many of our calls for road repair are for potholes on these County roads. While we do notify the Palm Beach County Road and Bridge Department regarding the issue, we cannot dictate when they will make the repair. We also do not repair sidewalks, as these are the responsibility of the County as well. Like the roads, if we do receive a call, we notify the County immediately about the problem.

 

The District does not provide traffic enforcement for speeding, running stop signs, or illegal ATV use on the District’s canal banks. These services are provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

 

MOWING

Our mowing operations include roadside swales, drainage outfalls, and canals throughout the District. Our most challenging months are August through October, when the grass is high and the swales are wet due to seasonal rains.

 

On average, the mowing schedule takes six to eight weeks to complete. The District does not provide landscaping services, and unfortunately, we cannot mow the swales every time a yard is mowed. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and understanding in this matter. There are residents who choose to mow their own swale and are put on our operators’ “Do Not Mow” list. If you are interested in being added to this list, please call our office.

 

GARBAGE

SIRWCD does not provide garbage collection services - this is provided by the Solid Waste Authority. We do not pick up common trash, construction debris, or yard debris that is set out at the side of the road. We do not pick up cans, bottles, or broken glass. We do monitor the swales and canals for any illicit discharge or illegal dumping. If you see or suspect someone is engaged in these activities, please notify the District immediately.

 

While I’m sure Facebook is a great resource for many people, don’t assume the information you see posted about the District is always accurate or up to date. If you have any questions regarding our services, please call our offices, send us an e-mail, or reference one of the information pages on this site..