Newspaper article The Florida Times Union
Engineers Study Failing Drainage System
PONTE VEDRA BEACH -- The stormwater drainage system in northeast
St. Johns County is so poor that roads are beginning to be
undermined and septic systems have likely been affected,
according to engineers studying the problem.
Stephen Joca, whose engineering firm has been hired to develop
a master drainage plan for the region, said a preliminary look
at the network of swales and lagoons meant to handle runoff show
how soggy the region is.
Joca's firm, Stone, Joca and Mahoney Consulting Engineers,
contracted with the Municipal Service District of Ponte Vedra
Beach on June 11 to prepare a master plan to renovate the runoff
system that extends from the Duval County line through the Guana
River Wild Life Management Area.
"The impression is, the old Guana River is now a series of
lakes," Joca said at a service district meeting Monday. The
Guana system is clogged with vegetation in varying stages of
growth and decay, Joca said he learned during a walk through the
Some roads in Ponte Vedra Beach are cracking and the water
table is so consistently high in some places that the lime-rock
road base seeps up through those cracks, he said.
"That's an indication the roads are pretty stressed," he said.
The high water table probably is interfering with the proper
working of septic systems, which depend on being above the water
table to function properly, said engineer Nancy Debs, who is the
Stone, Joca and Mahoney project manager for the job. …