What is the Sunshine Water Control District (SWCD)?
The Sunshine Water Control District is a special-purpose local government (Special District) that was established on July 10, 1963 by Florida legislature under Chapter 298, Florida Statutes. The SWCD is a drainage district that controls water surface levels to protect its property owners from flooding. The SWCD covers the central area of the City of Coral Springs.
How does the SWCD operate?
Through the interconnected network of 22 miles of canals and waterways, SWCD's function is to manage and monitor water surface levels within its service territory in order to prevent flooding. Two District pump stations remove large volumes of water from canals when needed. This dispersing of excess water into the C-14 canal is permitted and monitored by the South Florida Water Management District.
Who runs the SWCD?
A three member Board of Supervisors is elected by the landowners for three year alternating terms to run the District. Meetings are conducted under Florida's "Sunshine Law" and the public is invited to attend and participate. The Board employs a District Manager, District Engineer, District Attorney and Field Staff to operate the district functions.
When and where does the SWCD hold meetings?
The SWCD Board Meetings are advertised in the Sun-Sentinel as legal notices and are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Sartory Hall, located in Mullins Park, 10150 NW 29 St. (Ben Geiger Blvd), Coral Springs, Florida 33065. A copy of each meeting agenda is available in advance at www.sunshinewcd.net under the "Documents" link.
The Sunshine Water Control District is organized similar to other local governments in Florida, in that its governing body is composed of a three-member board known as the Board of Supervisors. The Board establishes the policy of the District in accordance with Florida law. The Board, by law, must hire a District Manager and District Counsel. The Board, through review of advertised Requests for Qualifications, ranks and selects a District Engineer to perform the engineering needs of the District. District Manager and the District Attorney administer the operations of the District and implement the Board's policies and contracts. Special Districts are not unlike other forms of local government, such as cities and counties, however, their powers are limited solely to the provision of specific infrastructure and services to a defined geographical area.
Is the SWCD part of the City of Coral Springs?
No. The SWCD is an independent local government and is not part of Coral Springs City Local Government. The SWCD lies within city boundaries so there is a significant amount of interaction and coordination between the two entities.
Why is flooding a concern in our area since it hasn't happen in recent history?
Farmers originally dug canals in our area to convert swampland into agricultural use. When the farmland began to be developed into homes and businesses, the State Legislature established Water Control Districts as a safeguard against flooding. The District's management of water surface levels has functioned well over the past half century and continues to be needed as we live in a coastal region at low land elevations with high exposure to hurricanes.
Does the SWCD also provide water that I use in my home?
No. Potable (drinking) water is provided by either a water utility or the City of Coral Springs Public Utility Department depending on where you live. The SWCD manages water from the environment that is channeled into its canals.
Why can't I draw water for my lawn irrigation when canal levels are low?
Due to drought conditions, the water levels in many canals are low and unable to be drawn to water lawns. The only way of replenishing the water in the SWCD canals is with rain. Home sprinklers can be used to supplement watering during these dry periods which generally are short-term in duration.
My home is on a canal. Can I plant some trees and put a play gym along the canal land outside my property line?
The SWCD canals are bordered by right-of-way lands owned by the District. These right-of-ways provide access for workers to do canal maintenance, algae control and other improvements. By city code, residents are required to maintain the right-of-ways clear of any obstructions. Obstructions in District owned right-of-ways not only prevent daily maintenance but also can create drainage blockages when objects are blown into canals during severe storms.
Who do I contact for information regarding the SWCD?
The District's website www.sunshinewcd.net has a wide range of information about the District. The District Manager's Office is also able to provide information or answer questions regarding the SWCD. The District Manager's Office maintains all records and proceedings regarding the SWCD and information is available upon a public records request. Canal maintenance and permit questions will be handled by Field staff and the District Engineer.