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Basic Property Maintenance to Reduce Flooding


How You Can Help with Floodplain Management

We believe that those of us who live and work in Fort Lauderdale can play an important role in preventing flooding. There are steps you can take at your own home or business, to ensure that water flows where it should, and only where it should. 

1. Maintain your swale.  Keep swales on your property "open" and free of piles of clippings, leaves, limbs and other garden debris so that nothing obstructs the flow of stormwater drainage.

2. Do not misuse your swale. Avoid parking vehicles in the swale because it compacts the soil and allows less stormwater runoff to soak into the ground.

3. Let stormwater pond. When water ponds in the swale for 24 to 36 hours, the swale is doing its job and will eventually convey water to an inlet or allow it to percolate into the soil. Advise local officials about flooding only if water ponds so long that swale vegetation begins to die.

4. Perform regular clean-outs of catch basins on your property to remove built-up sediment and other potential contaminants from your system that will impede drainage and affect water quality. 

5. Make sure your property's infrastructure is maintained and that stormwater management rules and regulations are being followed throughout the neighborhood and community.


6. Keep an eye on neighborhood storm drains. Make sure that all debris such as leaves, yard clippings, street trash and animal waste is removed from storm drain openings and does not get into stormwater. You may also report clogged storm drains by calling the 24-hour Customer Service Center at 954-828-8000.

7. Sweep the debris off the storm drain. Do not use a hose, as it will only wash more pollutants into storm drain systems.

8. Never pour household chemicals, pesticides, oil, auto care products or paint into drainage systems. Remember, what is washed down these drains could wind up in your water supply. Follow household hazardous waste guidelines for disposal.
9. When landscaping your property, remember that you should never change the grading of slopes that drain into canals, waterways or lakes. The grading is based on state and local minimum requirements and was designed by a State of Florida Registered Professional Engineer to meet water quantity and quality criteria.

10. Report clogged storm drains or catch basins online by calling 954-828-8000. 

REMEMBER: State law prohibits dumping anything into the storm drain system and unauthorized obstructions or alterations of the drainage features. Residents should report illegal dumping into the stormwater system or clogged storm drains by calling the City of Fort Lauderdale 24-hour Customer Service Center at (954) 828-8000.

Try Green Infrastructure

When you are ready to do more, consider installing green infrastructure to promote the natural movement of water. Green infrastructure has the added benefit of beautifying neighborhoods and increasing property values. It includes: rain harvesting, rain gardens, green roofs, street planters, infiltration basins and porous pavement.

More Information

Being informed is the best way to start to Green Your Routine. Read more here about how the flood control mechanisms near your home or business function and how to ensure that they remain free and clear of debris that could prevent them from working.

US Environmental Protection Agency LogoEnvironmental Protection Agency – Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure uses vegetation and soil to manage rainwater where it falls. By weaving natural processes into the built environment, green infrastructure provides not only stormwater management, but also flood mitigation, air quality management, and much more.  Visit the EPA’s website to learn about the seven green infrastructure tools.


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