The drainage system that the City inherited from General Development Corporation has a few shortcomings. Most of the residential units have "swale drainage." Stormwater run-off from the roads and the lots is channeled to a relatively shallow conveyance swale at the edge of the road. These swales then convey the water to "outfalls" throughout the City. Typically these outfalls are either City-maintained canals or canals owned and maintained by the Melbourne-Tillman Water Control District.
In order for the swales to function properly, they must be maintained at the proper slope and also maintained free of obstructions. A properly functioning swale should not hold water for more than 72 hours after rainfall has ceased. The most cost-effective way the City has found to maintain the swales is a process called "trenching." Rotary trencher equipment cuts a shallow, narrow groove in the swale area, establishing the flow line and removing obstructions. Unfortunately, this process also leaves behind the excess dirt from the swale.The City asks our citizens to partner with us to get the most from our limited resources. Consequently, the City’s policy is that the adjacent property owner/resident is responsible to remove or rake the excess dirt to keep it from washing back into the swale.
Through the help and cooperation of our citizens we are able to keep the cost of maintaining these drainage systems very low. For example, the cost for trenching is about 5 cents per linear foot, while the cost of the more traditional swale grading is about $3.25 per linear foot. Also the production rate for trenching is about 15 times faster than swale grading. So, even though the trenching process is messy, it can be done quickly and inexpensively.Many of our citizens do an excellent job maintaining the swale area in their front yards. We really appreciate those efforts to keep the drainage flowing, reducing the amount of work that is necessary for the City crews. With over 1500 miles of swales throughout the City, the Public Works crews can be more responsive to drainage complaints if our citizens assist us with the clean-up effort.
If you have any questions regarding the trenching of swales, please contact our Customer Service Department at 321-952-3438. Someone is available to answer your call directly Monday-Friday 7:00am – 5:30pm. You can also contact us via e-mail, or you can send us an electronic Customer Service Request.