County Sewers Under Repair While Plans For Drainage Improvements In The Works

          The Kyngs Heath Property Owners Association (KHPOA) is a master association primarily responsible for maintaining the surface water drainage system which collectively benefits some 125 acres of land (including Vacation Villas at FantasyWorld TOA and FantasyWorld Club Villas HOA, to which you belong). The structures built on property under the control of the association—buildings, parking lots, walls, etc.—can only exist because the government is satisfied that there is enough drainage capacity to support those structures, and that the drainage capacity is properly maintained. To ensure this, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) issued Permits setting forth the drainage requirements and naming the KHPOA as the “Manager” for the drainage system and its continual maintenance.
          The KHPOA also has the responsibility of approving changes to the physical appearance of the structures in the association. In addition to ensuring that the properties around yours will be properly maintained and attractive, this also ensures that modifications to the structures will comply with the SFWMD Permits by not adding more “impervious surface” than is allowed.
          A few years ago, the KHPOA was ordered by the SFWMD to overhaul the drainage system and arrange for ongoing maintenance, and Osceola County issued code violations that had to be cleared. This led to an initial special assessment in 2022 with a plan to follow that with regular annual assessments for continuing maintenance starting in 2023. That was the plan until Hurricane Ian struck. Being located well inland, our properties typically do not suffer much hurricane damage. Ian made landfall some 150 miles away and wind speeds slowed to about 55mph by the time it arrived. Windstorm damage was typically light. However, the massive, slow-moving storm dumped a historic amount of rain on us. We suffered unprecedented flooding. It was a 500 year flood event and the infrastructure is only designed to withstand a 100 year flood event. The drainage system was completely overwhelmed by the rising flood waters causing many millions of dollars of damage to property owners, to the sewer system, and to the drainage system.
          Another thing the KHPOA does is communicate with government representatives on behalf of the owners. Within 48 hours of the storms passing, depressions of up to 2-feet deep were observed forming in the road way. A professional inspection of the drainage and sewer systems was quickly carried out and reveals blockages of sediment at the inlets to the ditches and ponds, as well several partial collapse of county sewer infrastructure. Knowing how disastrous the flooding had been and having been able to observe the pressure the system was under in the form of manhole covers bubbling up and becoming dislodged, we immediately contacted the County to investigate. It was quickly determined that the storm runoff had overflowed the system and pushed its way outside of manhole encasements and pipes causing the ground to wash out and become weak. The partial collapse of some of these manholes had caused severe damage to the entire sewer line that runs underneath Kyngs Heath Road, and that work needed to commence immediately to avoided dangerous road collapse. We were able to successfully lobby the government to make the sewer system repairs an immediate priority and at the government’s expense (instead of the Association). Those repairs have been ongoing since the storm and will continue for a while.
          Unfortunately, we cannot get the government to pay for repairs to the drainage system. We’ve had numerous downed trees (including onto buildings), partial ditch collapses, significant sediment deposits, and a blockage of the underground culvert running under Kyngs Heath Road and connecting the two main drainage ponds. These costs have been added to KHPOA’s annual assessment which was passed shortly after the hurricane. As a member of the KHPOA, the Vacation Villas at FantasyWorld TOA and the FantasyWorld Club Villas HOA are responsible to paying part of these costs, which are reflected in the Special Assessment.

KHPOA Drainage Remediation Work Underway

         The Kyngs Heath Property Owners' Association to which the timeshare belongs has undertaken significant repairs and improvements to the drainage system that serves the property and those efforts are now underway and are expected to last the balance of 2023 and into 2024. Clearing the retention ponds and ditches of brush under 4 inches in diameter has commenced. This work is done first using heavy machinery to mulch organic debris, followed by chemical treatments for aquatic weeds and plants. As time passes during the rainy reason, much of the debris is expected to flush itself from the system, however contractors will return several times to clear the ditch as it recovers from the initial work.
         As the work progresses, heavy equipment will be used once again to remove large deposits of silt that have built up with time and have impeded flow, after which erosion control measures will be installed at all of the inlets and mitered ends to prevent or significantly slow the build up of these sediments moving forward. It’s a one-time expense that will prevent or greatly lengthen the amount of time it takes for this type of erosion and build-up of silt to occur in the future. and more importantly ensure that proper flow remains intact during heavy rains. The erosion control measures consist of a layer of lightweight non-woven needle-punched geotextile fabric on top which is placed about 6” of crushed granite stone.
         In other very positive news, the culvert under Kyngs Heath Road passed its inspection and is clear of debris and is undamaged- this was a huge potential expense that the association will not have to bear for the time being. Once the drainage work is complete the association will shift its focus to putting an effective and robust maintenance program into place to ensure that the drainage system remains in good working order and these issues do not either contribute to an exacerbation of flood during a major rainfall event, nor will the need for costly repairs be immediate or unplanned for.

Rentention Pond Remediation (BEFORE)

Rentention Pond Remediation (IN PROGRESS)

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