Storm Water

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LIVING WITH CANALS

A manual for people who live on the canals in Lauderhill. This guidebook will be your reference tool to help you understand the beauties and problems of the water in your backyard.  

1/3 OF YOUR BACKYARD IS WATER!

This guide is for you - the people who live on the canals in Lauderhill .  Like your operator's manual for your car or your lawnmower, this website will be your reference tool to help you understand the beauties and problems of the water in your backyard

1. How your canal works (Ecology)
2. Freshwater Life
3. Caring for your yard
4. Waste Handling
5. PROBLEMS ?

To find out how to protect your property before a storm, click on storm protection.

To get information on your flood insurance including information on Elevation Certificates and Letters of Map Amendments (LOMAs) for your property, click on  flood insurance.

To see the flood warning system that is currently in place, click on flood warning system.

CURRENT STORM WATER PROJECTS

Culvert Cleaning - The cleaning of Culverts and Catch Basins is routinely done so that waterways can maintain proper flow of water, especially during significant rain events.

TO SEE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THIS PROJECT, CLICK HERE

ECOLOGY

 

WATER CYCLE

Your body and those of other organisms is more than 90% water.  Obviously, it is very important to keep water available to all of us.  This happens through the water cycle, which begins with evaporation from the earth's surface.  The sun "boils" water into the air where it cools and condenses to form clouds which release rain drops.  When rain hits the ground, some sinks in helping to recharge the water table.  Some runs off into canals, lakes and streams and travels to the ocean.  Part of it is "boiled" off again and continues the cycle.

We get our water for drinking, agriculture and industry from ground and surface water bodies.  Most important for us is water that sinks into the ground.   Where the earth's surface is hardened by pavement and buildings, less water sinks in and less ground water is available.  We need to Landscape so as to maximize the water that sinks in

RUNOFF

As water runs off it picks up a variety of things including sediments, trash, fertilizers, pesticides and oils washed off streets and lawns.  The more runoff there is, the more foreign material flows into canals.  We need to remember that if it falls on the ground it can end up in the water!

FOOD WEB

There's a web of life that works for all of us in every canal, lake and stream.  Plants are the base of this web.  They get their energy from the sun and in process of growing, absorb nutrients and other runoff wastes.  Plants are eaten by a variety of consumers in canals.  Many are too tiny to be seen, but others include small fish, crayfish, and insects.  Energy in these consumers is utilized by predators, such as frogs, big fish, alligators and many kinds of birds.  In time, all of these consumers will die and be decomposed by bacteria which are eaten by other consumers.  In this process, materials are changed from energy-rich to energy-poor and the energy used supports all life involved.  Materials are used over again while the energy has to be continuously supplied by the sun.  This web works for all of us by cleaning up many wastes and by trapping poisons where they can do less harm.  Since the action is solar-powered, it costs us nothing.  But this web can be overwhelmed by pollution and then it stops provides us with the free clean-up.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU FEED YOUR CANAL - YOU CAN KILL IT!

 FRESHWATER LIFE

WATER CYCLE

Your body and those of other organisms is more than 90% water.  Obviously, it is very important to keep water available to all of us.  This happens through the water cycle, which begins with evaporation from the earth's surface.  The sun "boils" water into the air where it cools and condenses to form clouds which release rain drops.  When rain hits the ground, some sinks in helping to recharge the water table.  Some runs off into canals, lakes and streams and travels to the ocean.  Part of it is "boiled" off again and continues the cycle.

We get our water for drinking, agriculture and industry from ground and surface water bodies.  Most important for us is water that sinks into the ground.   Where the earth's surface is hardened by pavement and buildings, less water sinks in and less ground water is available.  We need to Landscape so as to maximize the water that sinks in

RUNOFF

As water runs off it picks up a variety of things including sediments, trash, fertilizers, pesticides and oils washed off streets and lawns.  The more runoff there is, the more foreign material flows into canals.  We need to remember that if it falls on the ground it can end up in the water!

FOOD WEB

There's a web of life that works for all of us in every canal, lake and stream.  Plants are the base of this web.  They get their energy from the sun and in process of growing, absorb nutrients and other runoff wastes.  Plants are eaten by a variety of consumers in canals.  Many are too tiny to be seen, but others include small fish, crayfish, and insects.  Energy in these consumers is utilized by predators, such as frogs, big fish, alligators and many kinds of birds.  In time, all of these consumers will die and be decomposed by bacteria which are eaten by other consumers.  In this process, materials are changed from energy-rich to energy-poor and the energy used supports all life involved.  Materials are used over again while the energy has to be continuously supplied by the sun.  This web works for all of us by cleaning up many wastes and by trapping poisons where they can do less harm.  Since the action is solar-powered, it costs us nothing.  But this web can be overwhelmed by pollution and then it stops provides us with the free clean-up.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU FEED YOUR CANAL - YOU CAN KILL IT!

 CARING FOR YOUR YARD

 

 

CANAL EDGE PROTECTION

Plants along canal edges help to filter storm water runoff by absorbing runoff fertilizer and pesticides.  They also stabilize soil and reduce erosion.  Given the usual slopes and soil conditions in this area, fertilizer placed on plants within 50 feet of a canal can end up in that canal.

Keep compost piles away from edges.  These piles have nutrients that could leach out during storms, runoff into canals and cause excessive plant and algae growth.

Maintaining swales also keeps canals clean.   Swales retain water, which is then filtered before it goes into canals or groundwater.  Swales need to grass to prevent erosion, Parked cars, etc. on swales or vacant lots repeatedly leads to erosion.  All the eroded sand and dirt ends up going into storm drains outfall pipes, and then into canals.

FERTILIZERS AND PESTICIDES

Apply fertilizers and pesticides sparingly.  These materials can easily wash into the canal, and lead to problems. Any kind of yard clippings should be used for compost or placed outside for pickup.  Leave grass clippings on the lawn for nutrient value.   Do not dump them into the canal.  They will decompose and use up oxygen needed by fish.

Consider using mulch or compost as alternatives to commercial fertilizers.  Besides providing nutrients, these materials also retain moisture around roots, thus less need for irrigation.   Choose plants that don't generally need fertilizers or pesticides.  Native species tend to be heartier than exotic ones (thus easier to care for)

Before discarding, rinse pesticide and fertilizer containers thoroughly.

IRRIGATION

To estimate the amount of water going on the yard, place 5 to 10 straight-sided containers (3"-6" in diameter), in random zones for an in-ground irrigation system, or in equal intervals in a line from the sprinkler to the edge of the water pattern for a hose-end sprinkler.  Turn on the water for 15 minutes.  measure the water depth in each container.  Determine the average depth of water (sum of depth divided by number of containers).  Multiply by four to determine the irrigation rate per hour.   use the chart to find out how long to water your lawn; established grass needs water twice a week or less.  Generally, grass needs about 1" a week.   During dry periods (April/May), it may need 1 1/2".  Even if you have the dual water system, you should still save water whenever possible.

INCHES PER HOUR

MINUTES TO WATER

0.5

90

1.0

45

1.5

30

2.0

23

PESTICIDE ALTERNATIVES

It is possible to control some pests without pesticides. Some bugs can be removed by hand-picking, or by spraying from a hose.  You can buy BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) for control of leaf-eating caterpillars.  Soap or oil sprays are effective against aphids and whiteflies.  Other remedies include beer for slugs and snails, organic powders (i.e. diatomaceous earth, boric acid) for roaches and fleas, and salt for weeds and grasses in sidewalk cracks.

 

WASTE HANDLING

DUMPING

If you see signs of dumping or other pollution, call our office, the hazardous waste division, or code enforcement.  Waste oil can be taken to several recycling garages. Other fluids (paint, solvents, gas, etc.) should be saved for local collection days.

AQUARIUMS

Aquarium water, plants, or animals should not be dumped into canals.  These plants and animals are creating problems on the East Coast, due to their capacity to push out native inhabitants.  Two examples are walking catfish, and Hydrilla, a very invasive aquatic plant.

AUTOMOBILES

Note fluid leaks and repair them immediately.  This is for your safety as well as for that of wildlife.  Never dump oil, antifreeze, etc. into canals, storm drains, ditches, or soil.  Take oil to recycling stations .  Save other fluids for collection days.  Wash cars in grassy areas instead of driveways to reduce runoff.   This also helps to irrigate lawns.

FISHING LINE

Never leave monofilament line around, including bits left over from changing lures. Pelicans and other aquatic life could become entangled and die. Fishing line also gets caught in boat motors and causes damage.

PET WASTES

Pet droppings should be put into a proper sewage system.  Carry a scoop and bag when you're out with pets.  Flush, or bury feces at least 6-8 inches deep and 50 feet away from water.