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Hallandale Beach Addresses Drainage Issues

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – For years, residents in the southeast quadrant of Hallandale Beach had been plagued with drainage issues that caused flooding.

The 134-acre paved impervious area had no formal surface-water management system for treatment of stormwater runoff. Hallandale Beach is in Broward County, where low-lying areas are at risk for flooding and drainage problems.

The city came up with a solution to prevent future flooding—the construction of a system that would manage stormwater in 195 acres of residential and commercial properties.

The proposed project consisted of a system of inlets, culverts and reconstructed roadside swales that would discharge stormwater to 16 drainage wells via two pump stations. The pump stations would remove stormwater from a 60-inch culvert and discharge to the wells via a closed system of pipes and valves. Designed with pressure-reduction valves, the flow capacity within the wells would be within normal limits.

“Coming up with that much-needed project was innovative,” said James Sylvain, assistant director of public works. “Before that drainage project, flooding in that area after a major rain event was almost a certainty. We used to see flood damage to buildings as well as stalled or flooded cars; but not so much these days.

“Before starting the project, the consulting engineer had to demonstrate through plans and calculations that no adverse water quality or water quantity impacts would occur as a result of the proposed project,” said Sylvain.

The city received more than $11.5 million from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to fund the $15 million project. The grant was administered by Florida Division of Emergency Management. Construction began in 2012.

After the southeast quadrant construction began, Hallandale Beach requested additional funding for a drainage system to limit flooding in the northeast quadrant of the city.

The expansion project included installing drainage pipes, forced mains, inlet and control structures, and two pressurized pump stations with four 24-inch diameter wells feeding off each station. New storm drains were constructed to connect isolated existing ex-filtration trenches. Larger conveyance pipes were also installed.

FEMA funded an additional $2.3 million for the northeast quadrant project. This brought the federal share to nearly $14 million, 75 percent of the total cost of more than $18 million.

State Hazard Mitigation Officer Miles Anderson said the project satisfied the mitigation intent of the original application. There was no negative impact to the benefit-cost or to the project’s overall purpose and feasibility.

On Sept. 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm, battered the city of Hallandale Beach. There were reports of downed powerlines and road closures, but the hurricane validated the project’s success.

“It was rewarding to watch the floodwaters recede as the pump stations turned on and off to control the floodwater level,” he said. “Most rewarding was the fact that after touring the area and speaking with some of the residents, there was no report of flood-related loss—life or property—in the community. It is my opinion that the project accomplished successfully what it was designed to accomplish.”

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