Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is the Old Plantation Water Control District (OPWCD)?
The Old Plantation Water Control District is a special-purpose local government (Special District) that was established on November 19, 1946 by Florida legislature under Chapter 298, Florida Statutes. The OPWCD is a drainage district that maintains and controls the secondary canal network to protect its property owners from flooding during a designed storm event and provide recharge to the regional well fields.
2. How does the OPWCD operate?
Through the interconnected network of approximately 36 miles of waterways, OPWCD’s function is to manage and monitor water surface levels within its service area in order to prevent flooding during a designed storm event. The District maintains four major pumping stations including several gate structures to remove large volumes of water from the canal network when necessary. The canal network and infrastructure also provides recharge to the regional well fields. The District’s operations are permitted and coordinated with South Florida Water Management District, who manages the primary canal network in South Florida.
3. When and where does the OPWCD hold meetings?
The OPWCD Board Meetings are advertised in the Sun-Sentinel as legal notices and are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at District Headquarters, 8800 N. New River Canal Road, Plantation, FL 33324.
4. Is the OPWCD part of the City of Plantation?
No. The OPWCD is an independent local government and is not part of the City of Plantation. The OPWCD lies within city boundaries so there is a significant amount of interaction and coordination between the two entities.
5. How much is my 2023 OPWCD annual assessment?
Your 2023 OPWCD annual assessment is approximately $200.59 per acre. For properties less than an acre the assessment is based on the size of land area. Example: A quarter-acre lot will be assessed $50.15 for the year. The OPWCD assessments are levied to maintain, preserve, repair and restore the existing and future assets of the District. This annual assessment is collected by the Broward County Revenue Collector and appears as a non-ad valorem assessment on your Broward County property tax bill which is sent out each November.
6. Why is flooding a concern in our area since it hasn’t happened in recent history?
The region commonly know as the Everglades is an almost flat, shallow basin extending from Lake Okeechobee to the southern tip of the state. Farmers originally dug canals in our area to convert swampland into agricultural use. When the farmland began to be developed into homes and businesses, the State Legislature established Water Control Districts as a safeguard against flooding. The District’s management of water surface levels has functioned well over the past half century and continues to be needed as we live in a coastal region at low land elevations with high exposure to hurricanes.
7. Does the OPWCD also provide water that I use in my home?
No. Potable (drinking) water is provided by the City of Plantation Utilities Department.
8. Can I withdraw water from the canal for my lawn irrigation?
An irrigation line withdrawing water from the OPWCD canal is a trespass on the District right-of-way and permits are not issued for the encroachment. Existing irrigation lines are at risk and subject to damage during our operations and maintenance of the waterway.
9. My home is on a canal. Can I plant some trees and put a play gym along the canal land outside my property line?
The OPWCD canals are bordered by right-of-way lands owned by the District. These rights-of-way provide access for workers to do canal maintenance, algae control and other improvements. By city code, residents are required to maintain the rights-of-way clear of any obstructions. Obstructions in District owned rights-of-way not only prevent daily maintenance but also can create drainage blockages when objects are blown into canals during severe storms.
10. Who do I contact for information regarding the OPWCD?
The District’s website has a wide range of information about the District. The District Office is also able to provide information or answer questions regarding the Old Plantation Water Control District. Canal maintenance and permit questions will be handled by District Superintendent and field staff.