Home Archived October 29, 2018
(i)
U.S. Geological Survey

South Florida Information Access - Virtual Tour

virtual tour home

Lake Okeechobee
Jonathan Dickinson SP
Blowing Rocks
Fern Forest
Controlling the Waters
- EAA
- STAs
- WCAs
- Control Structures
Loxahatchee
West Lake/Anne Kolb
Alligator Alley
Big Cypress
Corkscrew Swamp
Fakahatchee
Biscayne NP
Everglades NP
Florida Bay/Keys
10,000 Islands/Rookery Bay
Ecosystems

Glossary
Photo Gallery
About this site

SOFIA Home

controlling the waters

| EAA | STAs | WCAs | Control Structures |

Water Control Structures

Hurricanes and flooding in 1926 and 1928 caused thousands of deaths and the implementation of the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) water management Project in 1948. As part of the C&SF Project, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) constructed about 1,000 miles of canals, levees, gates, dams and pump stations.

Today, the USACE and the South Florida Water Management District direct the waters in order to protect against flooding, to prevent saltwater intrusion, and to provide water for agricultural irrigation and drinking water supplies to large urban areas in South Florida.

Take a look at some of the water control structures and the areas around them.

A photo gallery is available for this page. [Photos taken December, 1999 and April, 2000]

Levees
Levees are embankments that prevents flooding or continuous dikes that confine areas of land for irrigation by surface flooding.

photo of levee and canal
[larger image]
Levee L-28 located north of US 41 (Tamiami Trail), at the southwestern edge of Water Conservation Area 3 and the eastern outskirts of Big Cypress National Preserve. Canal C-4 is seen in the foreground.

Spanish Moss
North of US 41 (Tamiami Trail), at the southwestern edge of Water Conservation Area 3 and the eastern outskirts of Big Cypress National Preserve, trees along the C-4 Canal are draped with long gray strands of Spanish moss.

Spanish moss is an epiphyte that is related to the pineapple. It does not have roots and is not a parasite; it uses trees for support only. Spanish moss is commonly found throughout Florida.

photo of spanish moss hanging from trees along canal
[larger image]

Pickerelweed and
Spatterdock
photo of pickerelweed and spatterdock
[larger image]
Pickerelweed and spatterdock flower in C-4 Canal waters, north of US 41 (Tamiami Trail), at the southwestern edge of Water Conservation Area 3 and the eastern outskirts of Big Cypress National Preserve.
The long heart-shaped leaves (generally 4 to 10-inches long) and violet-blue flowers of the pickerelweed extend above the water. Pickerelweed commonly grows in calm waters throughout Florida and generally blooms in all but the winter months.

Spatterdock is a common freshwater plant of Florida. Its heart-shaped, large leaves may be wide or narrow and are often floating. Spatterdock flowers are yellow and grow at or above the water surface.

Spillway
photo of spillway control structure
[larger image]
A roadside view of Control Structure S-12 D located north of US 41 (Tamiami Trail), at about the (southern) midpoint of Water Conservation Area 3 (WCA-3). Control Structure S-12 D was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is a spillway that passes water, via canals, from WCA-3 to Everglades National Park.
A side view of Control Structure S-12 D located north of US 41 (Tamiami Trail), at about the (southern) midpoint of Water Conservation Area 3 (WCA-3). To the left of this spillway are canal waters and marshland of WCA-3 and to the right is US 41 (Tamiami Trail).
photo showing side view of control structure
[larger image]
photo of gates and buoys seen in back view of control structure
[larger image]
Gates are seen near the buoys in this back view of Control Structure S-12 D located north of US 41 (Tamiami Trail), at about the (southern) midpoint of Water Conservation Area 3. Gates can either hold water in or let water out.
Canal waters and Water Conservation Area 3 (WCA-3) marshland just west of Control Structure S-12 D, north of US 41 (Tamiami Trail), at about the (southern) midpoint of WCA-3.
photo of canal waters and marsh landscape
[larger image]

Pump Station
outdoor photo of pump station
[larger image]
Beyond the waters of Water Conservation Area 3 (WCA-3), a view of Pump Station S-9, as seen from Everglades Holiday Park, located just south of the US 27/ I-75 (Alligator Alley) intersection. Pumps are used to pump water from one location to another. Here, pumps discharge water from WCA-3 via Pump Station S-9 and Canal C-11 located on the other side of the structure.
photo of mechanics inside pump station
[larger image]
Diesel engine and other mechanics inside a pump station wall (Pump Station S-5A located at the northwest corner of Water Conservation Area 1).


Related SOFIA Information

Below we have listed science projects and publications for studies that are being conducted, or have been conducted, in association with control structures. Follow these links to read about each project and to see project-related publications and data.

Science Projects:

Related Publications:

TOP

 

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Geology
This page is: http://sofia.usgs.gov /virtual_tour/controlling/structures.html
Comments and suggestions? Contact:
Heather Henkel - Webmaster (hhenkel@usgs.gov)
Last updated: January 15, 2013 @ 12:44 PM (HSH)