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The City of Miramar Florida

PUBLIC WORKS – STORMWATER MANAGEMENT

Mission
                                                                                   
To provide Stormwater Management services by maintaining City waterways keeping them free of debris and excessive aquatic vegetation; minimize flooding, and improve water quality in accordance with the National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) best management practices.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Department Overview
                                                                                   
The Stormwater Management program encompasses Canal Management, Flood Protection, Pollution Control, Drainage Installation and Guardrail Maintenance.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                           
Canal Management ensures the cleanliness of city maintained waterways, keeping them free of debris and aquatic vegetation.  Staff controls the aquatic vegetation by applying chemicals as needed. The removal of tree limbs/roots is also an important aspect of canal management taking a proactive approach to avoid the potential for hazardous pipe obstructions.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                   
The Flood Protection and Pollution Control staff ensures the safety of all commercial and residential properties which is a vital service of the City.  The activities include street sweeping and comply with the best management practices of the National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater ordinance requirements. The City is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Protection (NFIP) and Community Rating System (CRS) which allows residents and business owners to receive a discount on their flood insurance premiums.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Miramar Canals and Waterways

The Miramar canals are maintained and cleaned on regular basis to remove pollution Understanding pollution and how simple acts such as washing cars, over fertilizing grass, oil leaks or littering can help protect our waterways.

The phosphorous found in canals is a result of dumping detergent and fertilizers into water bodies. The algae and aquatic weeds are a result of the presence of nutrients like phosphorous into drains and water bodies that nourish the plants and increases dramatically the vegetation. These actions affect dramatically the overall beauty, functionality, color and smell of the canals. It also suffocates and kills fish and other wildlife.

Miramar Wateways Jurisdiction

 

Best Management Practice BMP
Stormwater Runoff and Pollutants

Best Management Practices” is a term used to describe different ways to keep pollutants out of runoff and to slow down high volumes of runoff.

Stormwater runoff is water from rain that “runs off” across the land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest canal, lake or ocean. The runoff is generally not treated. Stormwater runoff can convey more than just water to canals, rivers, and lakes. It carries pollutants including dirt, grease, trash and more from roads, parking lots and other hard surfaces right into storm drains and ditches. They empty directly into our waterways. Storm water can also carry excess nutrients, like phosphorus, which turns our canals, lakes and streams green and smelly and harms fish, plants and other wildlife.

Pollutants include

From agricultural land and lawns
Fertilizer
Herbicides
Insecticides

From Paved Roads and parking Lots
Oil
Grease
Toxic Chemicals

Sediments from
Construction sites
Impact areas
Any area without ground cover

Bacteria and Nutrients from
Faulty septic systems
Pet and wildlife waste
Livestock


Algae Blooms

Miramar Wateways Jurisdiction

This is an example of an algae bloom which changes the color of the lake from bright green, red or dark brown. This is often the direct result of pollution by fertilizers leaching from commercial and residential properties. Detergents dumped into the water bodies also contain the phosphorous that can cause algae blooms.


Aquatic Weeds

Miramar Wateways Jurisdiction

This is an example of non-native aquatic plants. A small amount is needed for the fish to strive in the lake. However, when nutrients are in excess in the water, it creates an overgrowth of these non-native aquatic plants, often referred to as aquatic weeds. The plants can quickly overpower entire bodies of water, choking and killing fish and other wildlife. It clogs up the drainage outlets, makes the lakes unnavigable by boat and makes fishing difficult.


Grass Carps

Miramar Wateways Jurisdiction

The Grass Carp is a herbivorous, freshwater fish. It was introduced in the United States for aquatic weed control. Grass carps have an elongate, chubby body form that is torpedo shaped. Body color is dark olive, shading to brownish-yellow on the sides with a white belly and large slightly outlined scales. The grass carp grows very rapidly, and can attain nearly 4 feet in length and over 70 pounds. They eat up to 3 times their own body weight daily. They thrive in small lakes and backwaters that provide an abundant supply of fresh water vegetation.

Adults of the species feed exclusively on aquatic plants. They feed on higher aquatic plants and submerged grasses, but may also take detritus, insects, and other invertebrates. The species was deliberately introduced into the United States in 1963 for aquatic weed control. When used for weed control, often the fish introduced to the pond or streams are sterile.


Vacuum Trucks

Miramar Wateways Jurisdiction

The City uses an industrial storm sewer cleaning and vacuum truck for Storm Drainage Maintenance, Industrial Waste Cleanup, and Vacuum Excavation. The Vacuum Truck is used to clean the debris and pollutants from the catch basins. The Vacuum Truck uses a combination of high pressure water jetting attached to a super sucker vacuum truck which is used to unclog the drainage systems throughout the City of Miramar.


FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

My pond has a green film on it - what do I do?

Chances are your pond is experiencing an algae bloom. This occurs frequently in ponds that receive excess nutrients in runoff from surrounding areas. Nutrients are washed into the water body and the algae bloom occurs. These blooms can also cause strong odors to emanate from ponds and creeks.

Why are there all these dead fish in my pond?


Fish kills are common occurrences in the winter and during particularly hot days during the summer. The most common cause is low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the pond. Cold weather also causes kills of fish with little tolerance for drops in temperature (e.g. tilapia).


What causes poor water quality?


A number of factors may contribute to poor water quality. Some of the main culprits are runoff of fertilizers and pesticides from yards, oil and grease from cars, and sediment from construction sites. Trash, run off of hazardous materials, dumping of waste, and spills are other pollutants that degrade water quality. Natural occurrences such as algae blooms, although often triggered by pollution, may also contribute to a decline in water quality.

Why can’t I dump grass clippings into the storm drain or onto the roads?

Dumping of any material into the storm drain or onto the roads is a direct violation of the County NPDES Stormwater ordinance. A Notice of Violation (NOV) may be issued and could be followed by a fine of up to $500. It is especially important to remember that many storm drains and gutters lead directly into the bay or to other County water bodies

Where are storm drains?


For the most part, storm drains are located within the limits of the streets. Water typically flows across the land onto the road and gutters and into storm water inlets that are connected to the storm water drainage pipes. In the more rural areas, storm water is conveyed along roadside ditches.

Is trash and debris floating in the water considered pollution?

Yes, the floating debris in the water is pollution and often termed floatables. Floatables are one of the simplest pollution to control – stop litter!

Why is the Storm Water fee necessary?

The Storm Water Fee is a result of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972 and amendments thereafter. The regulations require cities to make improvements to reduce the amount of pollution from storm water runoff. These improvements include public education as well as removing pollution at the source. There are no federal or state dollars provided to implement water quality measures so the Storm Water fee has been adopted. Storm water is responsible for funding the operation, management, construction and maintenance of Storm water facilities. This generates its revenue through user fees. The Storm water fee is a service fee and not a tax. The fees are used to maintain and upgrade drainage facilities within the City as well as funding state and federal mandates regarding storm Water facility reviews, inspections, and the erosion and sediment control program that relates to new construction.

My utility bill includes a charge for "storm water." What is this?

The storm water fee on your bill helps to offset costs related to maintaining drainage systems throughout the City. These systems include roadways, drainage culverts, pumping stations and canals.

 

 

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© The City of Miramar Town Center - 2300 Civic Center Place - Miramar Florida 33025. (954) 602-HELP