Frequently Asked Questions (Engineering Division)

Does the City of Sweetwater maintain water lines, water mains and sewer mains in the City?

No, all water and sanitary sewer utilities are maintained by Miami Dade County Water and Sewer Department. If you have a problem with your water service or sanitary sewer service you'll need to contact the Miami Dade County Water and Sewer Department at customer service number  305-665-7477.

 

Which roads in the City of Sweetwater responsible for maintaining?

City only maintains public roads under City’s jurisdiction, not private roads.

Click here to view road allocations!

 

A sidewalk is damaged, who should I contact?

The City maintains all sidewalks along the public roads under City’s jurisdiction.  In any other case, please contact the management company that maintains the common areas of the location.  If unsure, please contact the Public Works Department at  305-221-0411 or email at  jennifer@cityofsweetwater.fl.gov.

 

Pavement markings on the road are worn out.  What can I do?

Call the Public Works Department office during business hours at  305-221-0411 and they will investigate and issue a service request to the proper agency.

Markings on the road?

Call the  Engineering Division office during business hours at 305-455-6585 and they will investigate and issue a service request to the proper agency.  To expedite the service, you may provide us with the “ticket number” by asking the company marking the street.

Markings on your lawn?

Just because the flags are in your lawn does not mean your lawn will be effected. Many times, the individuals or companies who call in the “Call 811 Ticket” request to dig does not have all of the information needed to pin-point the locate technicians to the exact spot of the work. Instead, they will call in several properties for one small excavation just to make sure that the locators have marked the proposed work area. For instance, it is not that uncommon for an electric company to call in a 150′ radius of a utility pole that is going to be replaced. Typically, they will replace the pole in the exact same location of the existing pole, or within a few feet, but regardless they always seem to call in way more than they need.

The other reason flags have appeared in your yard is because someone is planning to do work. Engineers will request to have utilities marked out so that they can design new utility systems around the old ones. This practice is often referred to as Subsurface Utility Engineering. If you happen to notice that these flags have shown up in your entire neighborhood, this is likely the case. There won’t be any excavating in the near future, for a while anyways.

 

Locate Utilities Before You Dig

If you are planning to excavate on your property where utilities such as electric, water, telephone, and natural gas lines are buried, Florida State law requires that you notify the affected utilities at least two days prior to excavating. The utilities are required to locate their utilities for you within two (2) working days. This law aims at protecting you from possible serious injuries and from liability if your digging damages any underground utilities.

 

Call 811 or (800) 432-4770 Check Responses Calendar DP Guide my.sunshine811.com. Homeowner Excavator Members Español Resources

 

American Public Works Association Uniform Color Codes for Temporary Marking of Underground Utilities:

  • Proposed Excavation. (white)
  • Temporary Survey Markings. (pink)
  • Electric Power Lines. (red)
  • Gas, Oil & Steam. (yellow)
  • Communications (Telephone & Cable TV) (orange)
  • Water. (blue)
  • Reclaimed Water. (purple)
  • Sewer and Storm Drains. (green)
APWA Color Codes

Utility Easements and Homeowners

Many Sweetwater area homeowners have underground or overhead power lines running through their properties. Every utility company, such as Florida Power & Light, are given legal easements on the land over or under which their lines run.  They are only allowed to use the property to gain access to their equipment, such as powerlines or electrical poles or towers.

 

Property Owner Rights

If your property “hosts” a utility easement, you’re entitled to use of the land over which the easement covers, but you are not allowed to unreasonably interfere with the legal right of the utility easement holder to have access to or utilize its easement.

 

Do I Pay Taxes on the Property Easement?

Yes, you are required to pay property taxes even for the land set aside as an easement.

 

Permanent Structures on Utility Easements

Homeowners are typically not allowed to build a permanent structure where an easement runs, even though the land is legally theirs. This is because building that structure (such as a garage) may restrict the access rights of the utility to their equipment. Electrical and other utility companies often do erect permanent structures on their easements in order to support the electrical services they provide, but if you wish to build a structure you will need to obtain permission from the easement holder to do so.

 

What About Swimming Pools? Many times prospective homeowners get an unwelcome surprise when they have their survey done and find out that a swimming pool actually overlaps the easement. Although incidents are rare, it is possible that the utility company can compel a homeowner to remove a permanent structure which is impeding their access. (see below) If the pool has been there for years, it is unlikely – however, you should consult a real estate attorney for more information on your options and rights.

 

Easement Expiration

If there’s an easement present on your property, it should be evident on the property’s title history and the survey. Easements, such as those for utility companies, don’t typically expire, but instead “run with the land.” This means the easement remains in force even when the property is sold or changes hands. A new property owner must honor the usage rights and privileges of the easement’s holder which always existed. If you are purchasing a new property, ask your title company or real estate attorney to explain the easements which may exist on your property.

 

Is utility marking paint permanent?

Paint for marking underground utilities is water based and designed for temporary marking of underground utilities. Being temporary, it is designed to fade and wash away without harm with time passing, so it does not become permanent "ground graffiti

 

There is a dead tree limb or tree in the City's public right-of-way. What can I do about it?

Call the Public Works Department office during business hours at  305-221-0411 and they will investigate and issue a service request to the proper agency.

 

Do I need a permit to remove or replace a tree from my front yard?

Call the Public Works Department office during business hours at  305-221-0411.

The Miami-Dade County, Regulatory and Economic Resources Department (RER), Tree Permitting Program regulates and enforces the removal and replacement of trees and forests. You may call the Miami-Dade County Tree Program at 305-372-6574 or click visit their website at http://www.miamidade.gov/ or click on this link to access their Tree Removal Permit Requirements at  Miami-Dade County Tree Removal Permits. http://www.miamidade.gov/permits/tree-removal.asp

If you need to remove, replacement and/or relocate a tree, these criteria need to be followed:

  • If the trees are in the City of Sweetwater public right-of-way, you are required to pull a permit from RER and from PWD.
  • If the trees are in County public right-of-way, you will need a permit from RER.
  • If the trees are in private property, depending on the type of tree, you will be required to have a permit from RER.

 

A streetlight is out or not working properly, who do I call to get it repaired?

Call the Engineering Division  office during business hours at  305-455-6585 or email us at pwsubmittals@cityofsweetwater.fl.gov  with a location so that we can investigate and report to the appropriate company for the repair.

 

A traffic signal is out or not working properly, who do I call for it to be repaired?

Miami Dade County owns and maintains all signal traffic lights within the City limits.  Call Miami Dade County at 311 to report this problem or call the City’s Engineering Division office during business hours at  305-455-6585 to have this reported to the City of Sweetwater Police and Miami Dade County.

 

There is a sign, tree, fence, etc. that obscures driver visibility at corner road intersections. What can I do about it?

Call the Engineering Division office during business hours at  305-455-6585  and they will investigate and issue a service request to the appropriate agency.