Yenier Vega, CFM, CGC
Stormwater Utility Manager
The Stormwater Division within the Public Works Department is responsible for the design, planning, maintenance, operation, and management of the Town's storm drainage system. Stormwater Utility also administers the Stormwater Utility Fund. Stormwater management is a State and Federally mandated program that requires the Town to reduce the amount of pollutants entering the Town's storm drain system. Annual reporting to the state via National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is required.
This division is the main point of contact for residents requesting stormwater information, drainage questions and concerns. The Stormwater Utility division is under the direction of the Public Works Director, who analyzes and oversees the construction of the Town's Stormwater Drainage system. The Stormwater Utility division also provides plan review and inspections enforcing the Floodplain Management Ordinance Sediment Erosion Control.
Town Projects and Programs Funded by Stormwater Utility Fees
Drainage System Maintenance involves storm drain cleaning, mowing of Town right-of-ways, swale areas, street sweeping services, and jet vacuuming clogged drainage systems.
Canal Maintenance includes bank mowing, removal of aquatic weeds through biological or chemical treatment, cleaning culverts, removing obstructions in canals, on an emergency basis after storms and/or as complaints are received from residents.
Flood Inspections are conducted during rain events to document flooding problems within the Town. Inspections are based on citizen complaints, and on referrals from Town engineers and Public Works staff. The inspections are used to prioritize the various drainage projects being designed for construction improvements by both Town engineers and staff.
Creation and Implementation of a Stormwater Management Master Plan is a comprehensive effort to map out the entire Town to assess its drainage needs. The entire Town is divided into drainage basins, and these basins are then modeled to assess what the drainage needs are now, and what the future drainage needs of the area will be, based on land use and population. By mapping out these areas in advance, the Town will ensure that all new development(s) will include a proper level of service for the drainage needs of that area. This effort involves surveyors; draftsmen and engineers to perform modeling, and to design the proper drainage retrofit projects to be constructed.
Design and Construction of Capital Improvement Projects requires that Town engineers use proven methods to design drainage systems that will provide flood protection, and add water quality improvements to the system, to reduce pollution found in stormwater runoff. Engineers in this program review the designs of private developers, and also create their own designs for the Town’s drainage systems being constructed.
Funding local match for FEMA-funded flood mitigation projects, including dredging of secondary canals, drainage retrofits, and drain cleaning within the Town. Federal clean-up and recovery funds made available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after any “declared” flood events, and/or Tropical Storm / Hurricane. The possible FEMA funds require a local match, which is being covered by the Town’s stormwater Utility fees. The FEMA Grant funds have enabled our Town to provide major improvements to the drainage systems throughout residential neighborhoods.
Participation in committees such as the Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS), that aid in disaster recovery. The LMS is a community-wide group that assesses the community’s potential vulnerabilities in the event of a disaster, and develops activities or projects that would reduce those vulnerabilities. If a disaster does occur, the LMS has ready lists of related projects the community can implement to prevent or reduce damages from a similar disaster. This list helps in getting relief grants from the federal government and other grant sources. Participation in the LMS helps the Town to receive resources they need to recover faster from any type of disaster that may occur.
Compliance with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations involves regulating elevations of new homes and businesses, making flood zone information available to the public, publishing brochures and sending informational brochures to repetitive loss properties, as defined by FEMA. Plan reviews for floodplain management, and inspections of sites that require certain floodplain-related conditions, or could be causing flood impacts to other residents.
Management of Community Rating System (CRS) program involves managing and documenting activities that the Town performs that gain points under FEMA’s CRS Program. This voluntary program is an offshoot of the NFIP, and rewards communities that improve their flood protection activities with flood insurance discounts for its residents. Town residents currently enjoy a 20% discount on most flood insurance policies through the various activities documented by Town staff. The CRS Program requires management, tracking of activities and documentation of new activities, and annual re-certification, which is provided by both Town staff and Consulting Engineers.
Compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit involves activities that include creating and monitoring various stormwater management programs throughout the Town, conducting canal and other surface water sampling near outfalls on a regular basis, enforcing stormwater management regulations, and issuing violation notices to those who dump into storm drains.
Drainage Permitting involves the regulatory review for approval or disapproval of drainage systems provided with new construction. New construction within the Town must include provisions to manage stormwater runoff, both to increase flood protection and to reduce pollution in stormwater runoff. Town Engineers review plans to ensure minimum drainage standards are met, and permits required under Chapter 24 of the Code of Miami-Dade County are complied with.
For additional information regarding Stormwater Utility, please contact Yenier Vega, Stormwater Utility Manager, or Alfredo Quintero Public Works Director at (305) 234-4262.