Problem: Brevard County converted two borrow pits into retention ponds for polluted stormwater collected from the Pine Island Canal. This waterway collects stormwater from a 5,970 acre drainage basin, including citrus groves and agricultural land, and deposits it into the Indian River. A method for allowing water to flow from the canal to the converted borrow pits and to prevent backflow from the borrow pits into the canal.
Solution: This drainage solution has been designed to prevent flooding across more than nine square miles of north Merritt Island, stretching from the Kennedy Space Center to Crisafulli Road.
Excavators have converted two borrow pits into retention ponds for polluted rainwater collected. There are 11 WaStop check valves for the first phase of this project. The purpose of these valves is to allow water to flow from the canal, which is connected to the Indian River Lagoon, an estuary of national significance, to the converted borrow pits and to prevent backflow from the borrow pits into the canal.
“Borrow pits are ideal sites for conversion because you don’t have to build a pond. You just convert them,” said Ernie Brown, Brevard County natural resources director. “We’ve done four or five of them across the county, I can recall: Grant, Sarno Lakes and Rockledge.”
Construction on the project’s $2.3 million initial phase saw the contractors converting the northern borrow pit into an 83 acre retention system and installing a weir and hydraulic pump. The first phase of construction on the $4 million Pine Island Conservation Area stormwater project was completed just over a year later.
According to Ernie Brown, the Pine Island borrow pit project is the first in the county to use pumps, which have been installed to lower the canal’s water levels and help control flooding upstream.