Here in Florida stormwater retention, detention, and conveyance could not be more important. Florida averages over 50 inches of rain per year, and during hurricane season a single storm can bring over 20 inches in a single day. The lakes, ponds, and waterways in our communities need to function at full efficiency in order to prevent flooding during the summer months and especially in the event of a tropical system. If the conveyance structures that bring water to and from these waterways become compromised it can result in devastating flooding and property damage. Overgrowth of vegetation is the easiest way for these structures to become compromised, and that is exactly what happened in this central Florida community.
Correcting Hunter Creek’s Aging Stormwater System
Hunter’s Creek in Orlando, Florida has made the decision to be proactive with the corrections to their aging stormwater system and requested Lake and Wetland Management survey the community for necessary repairs and improvements. One of these corrections involved lake #49 which had become completely overgrown over the years, and the inflow and outflow structures had become severely obstructed. The overgrowth around the structures had caused trash and sediment to collect around the vegetation and eventually resulted in a severely reduced flow rate. Water then backed up in the conveyance structures and was forced out other places resulting in increased water levels and erosion. The carrying capacity of the lake had also been reduced by the amount of vegetation and excess sediment present, this means the lake was not able to contain the amount of water originally intended.
How to Restore a Stormwater Retention System
To correct these issues access needed to be cleared to each structure, and all of the overgrown vegetation had to be removed from around each one. Sod was placed on each of these access points in order to prevent erosion and keep them clear in the future. Access to stormwater structures is incredibly important in order to keep them properly maintained. Excess sediment and organic matter were also removed from the areas in front of the structures to allow proper functionality. The pinch point in the lake near the outflow structure had collected the most vegetation and sediment preventing proper discharge of stormwater during a storm event, and this all needed to be removed. Finally, the erosion around the concrete structures had to be repaired to prevent a failure in the future. Once this was completed the carrying capacity and functionality of the water body was back to originally designed specifications. This was an extreme set of circumstances, but even something as simple as trash and algae can block up an outflow structure and cause flooding. This is why it is so important to be proactive rather than waiting for an issue to show itself.
Results of Stormwater Maintenance
RESULTS: Hunter’s Creek lake #49 has seen drastic improvements in water flow in addition to more consistent water levels. After the project was completed water was able to flow unimpeded from the inflow culverts to the outflow structure as stormwater entered the system during major rain events. The blockage around the outflow structure was no longer causing drastic water level fluctuations, and in turn, the erosion issues around the inflow culverts have been remedied. The access easements have allowed for continued maintenance of all of the structures in order to prevent any future issues with overgrowth.
For individuals in the Florida area in need of stormwater retention maintenance, contact the professionals at Lake & Wetland Management at 855-888-5253.