News & Projects

West Outfall Canal Improvement Project Frequently Asked Questions | 12-20-2017

What is the West Outfall Canal Improvement Project?
The West Outfall Canal (WOFC) is the primary conveyance canal for the Sunshine Water Control District’s (SWCD) West Basin which covers the area from University Drive west to the Sawgrass Expressway and from Wiles Road south to Royal Palm Boulevard. The WOFC project will improve stormwater management and flood protection through the widening and deepening of the WOFC from the intersection of Canal Z (which runs along Royal Palm Boulevard) to Pump Station #2. Phase 1 of the project will start from Canal Z to approximately 100 ft. south of the Coral Springs Drive Bridge. The result will be a significant improvement in the SWCD’s ability to manage stormwater more efficiently from our West Basin, prevent flooding and gain adequate access to the canal for routine maintenance.

The WOFC has never flooded. Why is the District moving forward with this project?
Hydraulic analyses shows that the WOFC, as it exists, does not allow for adequate stormwater management controls, and as a result, subjects our West Basin homeowners and businesses to potential flooding during severe storm events. To improve water flow, the District recently installed an 84” culvert under Royal Palm Boulevard and the same under Coral Ridge Drive, both of which feed water into Canal Z. In addition to these new culverts, it will also be necessary to widen and excavate the West Outfall Canal. The WOFC project is a component of the District’s Capital Improvement Plan. The projects in the plan will improve overall infrastructure in a manner that is fiscally responsible to property owners.

Where will the project start/finish?
The project will be implemented in phases. Phase 1 will occur from Canal Z to approximately 100 ft. south of the Coral Springs Drive Bridge. Phase 2 will occur from approximately 300 ft. north of Riverside Drive to Pump Station #2 behind Taravella High School. All work is proposed within the Canal Right-of-Way.

What is the project timeline?
Encroachment removal for Phases 1 and 2 of the project will begin in April 2018 and will take place over approximately six weeks.

  • Phase 1b, canal work and construction, begins in November 2018.
    Planned completion of Phase 1b is April-May 2019.
  • Phase 2 canal work and construction is planned to begin in November 2019. Planned completion of Phase 2 is April 2020

What are encroachments?
Encroachments are trees, shrubs, decks, auxiliary structures, etc. within SWCD Right-of-Way that were not approved by SWCD. These items must be moved/removed as part of this project.

What is a buffer?
For all intents and purposes, a buffer is a provided space to reasonably safeguard private property from the construction work. The District is providing impacted property owners with a five-foot buffer in District Right-of-Way to replant approved vegetation. To utilize the buffer, the owner must execute a license agreement with the District to allow use of the buffer.

What are my options regarding identified encroachments?
The District is offering property owners several options to address encroachments within the Right-of-Way. Please use the election form to notify the District of your election. Elections are non-binding.

Option 1: Landowner elects to remove/move all encroachments from the SWCD Right-of-Way at landowner’s expense. Upon receipt of this option, we will mail out the formal agreement for your review and execution. The agreement is due no later than February 1, 2018. Please note formal agreements must be notarized. Work must be completed no later than March 1, 2018.

Option 2: Landowner elects to have all encroachments in SWCD Right-of-Way removed at SWCD expense. Upon receipt of this option, we will mail out the formal agreement for your review and execution. The agreement is due no later than February 1, 2018. Please note formal agreements must be notarized.

Option 3: Landowner elects to request use of the five-foot vegetative buffer and, as applicable, the move of any approved vegetation from other areas of the Right-of-Way to the buffer area. One time offer. Upon receipt of this option, we will mail out the formal agreement for your review and execution. The agreement is due no later than February 1, 2018. Please note formal agreements must be notarized.

What happens if I don’t return my election form?
Please return your completed election form as soon as possible. If the District does not hear from you, we will assume you do not wish to participate in Options 1 or 3. The District will move forward with Option 2; removing encroachments in District Right-of-Way at District expense.

Where can I find a list of approved vegetation for use in the buffer?
A list of approved species allowed for the vegetative buffer area can be viewed on the SWCD website at

How much will the canal be widened for Phase 1?
The canal will be widened such that there will be approximately 41.5 ft. of canal bank between the property line and design water elevation of approximately 7.5 ft. above sea level for both sides of the canal. Please note that canal water levels will vary throughout the year which will affect canal bank width.

What will happen to the trees removed during Phase 1a?
Trees in District Right-of-Way will be cut down to stumps at ground level. All stumps will be removed during canal construction. Stumps within the five-foot buffer will be stump grinded.

What will happen to irrigation lines located on District Right-of-Way that are currently functioning?
Irrigation lines that are currently functioning will be temporarily capped off during construction and returned to functional status post-construction. Only irrigation lines and sprinkler heads that are functioning at the time of construction will be repaired. Pumps, motors and related items will not be repaired.

We use canal water for irrigation. How long will the irrigation lines be capped?
For the duration of the construction phase of the project and for approximately 60 days post-construction.

What will happen to grass that is damaged during construction?
Damaged sod will be replaced with St. Augustine grass at the conclusion of the construction portion of the project.

Will a road or berm be installed in District Right-of-Way?
The project does not call for the installation of roads or berms.

Where will the dirt being removed be stored during construction? How will the dirt be removed if there are no access roads near my home? How long will the dirt be stored in the Right-of-Way? Will construction debris be hauled off or remain on site?
Contractors will be requested to submit their proposed construction method with their bids for review. Construction access is limited to approximately the 160 ft. of the 170 ft. Right-of-Way. We anticipate material being temporarily placed along the allowed Right-of-Way for drying time before being taken to landfill.

The project will be completed in sections. For Phase 1b, we anticipate construction access from the north end of the project by Canal Z. For Phase 2, we foresee construction access to the Canal Right-of-Way via Riverside Drive.

What will happen to the trees that are removed? Will they be relocated?
The District will pay the City of Coral Springs a tree mitigation fee. The City uses that fund to plant trees within Sunshine Water Control District boundaries.

Will the trees be properly removed?
Yes, we will bid out and hire a professional tree removal company.

Would the District consider extending the buffer from five to 10 feet?
SWCD has considered all options and we will not extend the buffer beyond five feet. We will work with all residents who wish to utilize the five-foot buffer.

Why can’t property at Cypress Park be used for the project vs. impacting residents?
In Phase 1, a small portion of the project (approximately 50 yards) impacts Cypress Park.

Has the project obtained required environmental permits? What environmental and/or ecological studies have been performed?
The District applied for a FDEP/SFWMD/ACOE Joint Environmental Resource Permit. It also has obtained licenses (permits) from Broward County.

Environmental and/or ecological studies were not required.

Has the District obtained a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)?
The District is working with ACOE on the type of permit to be issued. This does not impact Phase 1a of the project.

The District is working with ACOE on the type of permit to be issued. This does not impact Phase 1a of the project.
For concerns regarding wildlife, we suggest you contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Will a construction fence be installed along District Right-of-Way? What kind of fence?
For the actual canal work, a temporary construction fence will be installed approximately five feet from your property line and it will be five to six feet high.

Will my property elevation change?
No, there will be no private property elevation changes.

What is the District’s plan to address potential reductions in property values?
Our goal is to insure the health and safety of the residents in Coral Springs by maintaining the canals in the SWCD in a fashion that will assist in stormwater management and flood protection. Some residents may choose to utilize the offer of a five-foot buffer in which they may plant vegetation from the Approved Vegetation List.

Will the District consider providing property owners with a $100 rebate for dust and debris that settles onto adjacent properties?
The awarded contractor is required as part of his/her bid, to implement construction Best Management Practices (BMP) for sediment and erosion control purposes. Also required is the implementation of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). As part of the SWPPP, the contractor is to reasonably monitor construction activity and implement measures to control dust. Any construction debris settling onto private properties shall be removed by the contractor.

Will a barge be used for canal construction?
We will not exactly know how the work will be performed until we receive the bids. Contractors will be requested to submit their proposed construction method with their bids for review.

How will existing or new sinkholes be addressed?
There are currently no known sinkholes within the District.

What if I believe my property’s aerial survey is wrong?
You can hire a professional survey company for your individual property.

What if I have a permit for my fence to be on the SWCD Right-of-Way?
You must have a permit from SWCD to use our Right-of-Way.

What types of engineering studies have been performed related to the bridge at Coral Springs Drive? What about the other bridges along the WOFC?
The canal and bridge hydraulics were analyzed. Canal and bridge bottoms are proposed for deepening and widening. Broward County Highway Engineering Division required an approval from a Structural Engineer for the proposed work under the bridge and that approval was provided. Similar design will be implemented for the remaining bridges and canal.

Are drawings/renderings of the WOFC post construction available?
No, in projects such as this, drawings and renderings post construction are not typically produced.

We have never experienced any issues, so why is this project needed? Is the issue with the equipment vs. the canals themselves?
The WOFC does not serve properties adjacent to the Right-of-Way as they drain into the Coral Springs Improvement District, though we may recognize some rear yard drainage occurring onto the Right-of-Way via sheetflow. The project is needed to improve SWCD’s water management of the West Basin and more importantly, to improve flood protection in lower lying areas of the West Basin known as Westchester and Corporate Park.

With the increased water flow as a result of the WOFC project, are the pump stations prepared to handle this? What about C-14? What reports are available to support this?
The pumping station will control the flow of the WOFC and the pumping station has adequate capacity. The pumping station will not increase flow to the C-14. Supported by permit, it has an allowable discharge rate established by the South Florida Water Management District which it must follow.

What is the plan for erosion prevention after the canal is widened?
As previously stated, the contractor will be required to implement and monitor sediment and erosion control measures throughout the course of construction. Increasing the canal flow area will lower canal velocities thus removing the chances of channel erosion.

Will equipment be parked in the Right-of-Way during construction and for how long?
Equipment will be stored within the Right-of-Way and will be used during the course of construction as needed.

What if the City required the property owner to plant vegetation on the Right-of-Way?
Please provide the document from the City that placed this requirement on the property owner. Once SWCD reviews the information with the City, either the City or SWCD will be in touch with the property owner.

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