Workers Improving Infrastructure
Broward County Water and Wastewater Services Operations Division line crews make repairs to a sewer main.
For many years, the Water and Wastewater Services Division has been working diligently to improve the County's infrastructure – water distribution, wastewater force mains and lift stations, sewer mains, drainage, sidewalks, roadways and landscaping associated with these projects to enhance the quality of life for thousands of residents and help ensure a healthy environment.

Last year, the Division completed 68 projects and currently has five more projects planned for 2014 with a total cost of $684 million. Overall, crews have eliminated more than 10,600 septic tanks and replaced more than 500 miles of pipe – equivalent to laying a pipeline from Fort Lauderdale to Savannah, Georgia.

The majority of this work has been done through two programs – the Neighborhood Improvement Project and the Utility Analysis Zone Improvement Program. The Neighborhood Improvement Project was created in the early 1990s as an unprecedented set of public works projects in 25 neighborhoods in mostly unincorporated Broward County. The Utility Analysis Zone, started in 2009, includes an area of nearly 1,500 acres and some 54 miles of pipeline in areas located in Lauderdale Lakes and Dania Beach.

The Neighborhood Improvement Project started as drainage improvement to alleviate flooding in low-lying areas of the County. However, other neighborhoods within the County, which had been constructed in the 1940s and 1950s, were also experiencing inadequate drainage, an aging potable water infrastructure and a lack of sanitary sewer service. Many of these areas had been historically served by septic tanks. These conditions posed a threat to the water supply of residents and business owners in these areas, and potentially exposed them to contact with wastewater outflow as well.

“In both programs, the aging water and sewer systems were prone to failure requiring repair causing service disruption and inconvenience to residents. The results of the improvements are that the quality of life for more than 97,000 affected residents has been greatly enhanced,” said Greg Balicki, director of Water and Wastewater Engineering Division. Balicki reported that the age of the oldest pipe encountered was approximately 50 years.

“We have addressed a significant portion of these old pipes and drainage issues with Neighborhood Improvement,” Balicki said, “and Water and Wastewater Services will continue to work diligently to keep residents and customers informed of scheduled construction in their area to minimize service interruptions.”