Storm-water drainage system is priority for Fla. city's spring rainfall preparation

 XL 3100 IV Gradall excavator

Like most cities and counties in the state of Florida, keeping storm-water drainage mechanisms clear and functioning is a top priority for Casselberry, Fla.

From catch basins to culverts and retention ponds, water management is a critical job for this residential community on the outskirts of Orlando.

Soon after the city of Casselberry took delivery of its XL 3100 IV Gradall excavator, the machine was put to work clearing soil and vegetation from critical drainage culverts along Rte. 436.

“The material that has collected in front of the drains is anywhere from 1 to 4 ft deep, collecting over several years,” said Rod Wongus, crew supervisor for the storm-water division of the city’s public works department.

“With the [excavator], we can clear away the entrance to about four catch basins a day and then clean out the inside of the pipe with a hydro excavator.”

With a short rear tail swing, Wongus said the excavator can be positioned and re-positioned as it works from the edge of the six-lane highway, only blocking one lane.

Compared to an earlier excavator model he used, operator Scott Mandigo said that the new machine is quieter and easier to reposition the carrier from the upper cab, plus it’s more powerful and more sensitive to movements of the joystick controls.

“It’s also very good in swales,” said Wongus, referring to another important storm-water management task for the machine.

During the dry season—before the spring rains—the excavator will be used to dredge about 23 miles of ditches and low-lying swale tracts to make sure water runoff can be handled efficiently.

“When that is done, we’ve got plenty more for this machine to work on, like sidewalk replacement and general repairs,” he said.