South Broward Drainage District
The lakes and canals in your community serve many purposes, including the storage of water for flood protection and the treatment of stormwater runoff to improve the water quality of South Florida’s fresh water ecosystem. This page provides information on what steps individuals and communities can take to help protect their local water bodies.


Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain flows over the ground. As we all know, “water flows downhill”, so stormwater runoff flows from the high point of a road or property to the low point. At the low points, the runoff is typically collected in a drainage inlet (or “catch basin”) and then conveyed to an adjacent water body. Stormwater runoff can also flow directly across back yards or properties and into a lake or canal.

Along its path, stormwater runoff can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants, all of which have the potential to flow into adjacent lakes, canals or wetlands. There are rules and regulations that require stormwater runoff to be treated prior to entering these sensitive water bodies. However, far too often, actions (or sometimes, inactions) by individual property owners or businesses can compromise the intentions of drainage regulations and cause unnecessary consequences for South Florida’s water bodies.


South Florida’s water bodies serve a number of important and beneficial purposes to our community, such as:

• Aesthetic features for homes and properties

• Storage areas that provide flood protection for roads, homes, and properties

• Detention basins that provide water quality benefits

• Conveyance systems that move water from one location to another

• Helps recharge the local and regional water network during the dry season

• Source of water for irrigation purposes

• Recreational uses such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing

• Observing nature, especially along wetland areas

The protection and preservation of South Florida’s fresh water ecosystem is a community-wide responsibility, including both public agencies and private individuals and businesses. We are all stewards of this precious and important natural resource. Lake and Canal Stewardship is an attitude and an important step in protecting your community’s lakes and canal, and ultimately your source of drinking water. Stewardship reflects an understanding that “what we do on land affects the water”. The first step that everyone can take is to follow Best Management Practices (BMPs) when it comes to South Florida’s water bodies.

To find out more about BMPs and other ways you can help protect your community’s fresh water ecosystem, click on the links below.

Keeping Neighborhoods Clean
Lake & Canal Stewardship
Children's Activity Book

Nonpoint Source Pollution Education Video

©2003 South Broward Drainage District