Before you read the city’s response, please be aware that we are getting very organized to stop the “poison pipeline”.  Scott Boyd our local county commissioner is working hard to give us a nice rapid political solution (he is very supportive of keeping lake cane swimmable).  I will let folks know when we need your help because I know all of us want to keep the lake clean.  The city has sent this notice to some of the lake Cane residents. I for some reason did not get it, but it was forwarded to me.  I will pass this on to you I have included the bureaucracy-speaks professor’s interpretation, because I had trouble understanding the notice, so I am grateful that this has been made available.


Some lake cane residents have received this notice from the city public works project.  Many have complained that they can’t understand the notice, because they are not fluent in bureaucracy-speak.  We have hired a bureaucracy-speak professor to interpret this notice into understandable terms for the general public.  The correct interpretation of what the city is saying is bolded and in italics.


Greetings Lake Cane Residents,

Bend over and drop your pants,


This notice is to inform you of a public works project the City of Orlando is planning to construct to alleviate stormwater flooding along Vineland Road. Since some busybody let the cat out of the bag, and now that everybody already knows, we will inform you.


Scope of the Road Drainage Improvement Project:

The proposed project involves the installation of a pipe from Vineland Road to Lake Cane, using the existing drainage easement between Vineland Road and Lake Cane where the pipe culvert and ditch formerly existed.  In the mid 80s when construction crews were deforesting the Universal Studios area, the construction crew illegally placed an 18-inch pipe under Vineland road at the drainage easement site.  The result of this new drainage immediately began choking Lake Cane with dark black silt.  The pollution was so severe that the lake cane residents, to stop further damage, concreted the pipe in. The lake has never fully recovered from this insult.

The City will also retrofit stormwater inlets all along Turkey Lake Road and Vineland Road to provide pollution abatement and water quality improvements.  We did a crappy job the first time.


A baffle box will also be installed in the frontage road, on the north side of Vineland Road, to provide additional pollution treatment. We are going to start pouring pollution into your lake, but to make you feel better about it, we are going to stop the big chunks because everyone can see those and might complain, but the real toxins will not be stopped.  That’s why we call it a  baffle box (from the idiom “baffle them with bullshit”).

The baffle box is an underground stormwater treatment system that catches debris and road sediment before it enters Lake Cane. What we won’t tell you is, a baffle box does not stop dissolved toxins, fertilizers, oil and grease, toxic metals (enjoy your swim).

The project is expected to begin in mid 2012 and completed by the end of the year. We want to get this done quick before the public realizes they are about to get screwed once again from the government.

Purpose of the Road Drainage Improvement Project:

Flooding has been observed on Vineland Road of such severity that the entire six lanes of Vineland Road have gone underwater, with stormwater runoff flooding the frontage road for several hundred feet, rendering both streets impassable and creating a safety hazard.  What a colossal screw up on our part. Whoever designed the drainage for the widening of Vineland really mangled it.   We have known about the problem for twenty years, but thought if we  ignored the problem it might magically go away. 

Numerous auto accidents have occurred due to the flooding, with some accidents involving injuries.  This is totally our fault, but we will not accept any blame for our nonresponsive behavior for twenty years. Since we did a horrible job predicting and directing drainage when Vineland road was redesigned in the late 80s, we are going to solve the problem by poisoning your lake, which breaks all the agreements that were made according to the Master Plan in 1987.

Addition to the road flooding, residential properties along the south side of Lake Cane have been flooded, with uncontrolled and untreated stormwater running overland to Lake Cane at the location of the pipe culvert that existed prior to the widening of Vineland Road. We hope if we keep referring to an old plugged pipe, which severely polluted the lake three decades ago, as justification for our current plans to pollute your lake, you will be stupid enough to believe that is in some way this is a valid argument for our proposed project.

Numerous alternatives were investigated to solve the potential for flooding, and the most effective alternative is to use the existing drainage easement where the pipe culvert and ditch formerly existed.Yes we are going to mention the plugged pipe one last time, because we really believe we are dealing with morons.  Just to be clear, polluting your lake is a cheap easy fix for our screwup. This is a city project and we are polluting county properties, so we really don’t care what you like or don’t like about the project. Therefore, please bend over a bit further, spread a little wider, and let us get to work. 


City of Orlando constructed Vineland Road and Turkey Lake Road on the periphery of the Universal Studios site in the late 1980s, and secured necessary permits from South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (now the Florida Department of Environmental Protection).  The City of Orlando redeveloped Vineland and Turkey Lake road in the late 80s, which had existed without flooding problems for decades. We secured necessary permits, but what we will not mention that we obtained these permits according to the Master Plan that clearly stated no storm drainage would be directed into Lake Cane.

The outfall for this drainage system discharges to a wetland between Lake Cane and Turkey Lake, and the wetland in turn flows to those two lakes. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but our design was extremely flawed, so we created flooding on Vineland road, which did not exist before.

Prior to the development of Universal Studios, the northwest area of that site, about 176 acres, drained to Lake Cane by way of a drainage pipe culvert beneath Vineland Road, which was a two-lane road at that time.  We are going to fudge here a bit and imply decades ago (when there were no roads, fertilizers, toxins, on what amounted to pristine hunting land), water always drained ”safely” through a pipe into lake Cane. We’ll conveniently leave out the part that a pipe didn’t exist then because there was not a drainage problem until the forest was removed in the mid 80s in preparation for Universal Studios.  Then and only then did they put in the slit pipe, which dumped into Lake Cane.  This was the pipe, which was subsequently plugged. We hope all the residents that were around then have either moved or died so we could rewrite history.

When Universal Studios was constructed, the entire site was designed to discharge to a tributary of Shingle Creek that runs through the Prime One Outlet Mall and then between the Festival Bay Mall and the Florida Turnpike before joining Shingle Creek.  The city instead, for its part, decided to flood Vineland and ignore the problem for the last twenty years. We’ll just conveniently leave out mention of the illegal silt pipe.

No part of Universal Orlando drains to Lake Cane, nor are there any plans for any part of Universal Studios to drain to Lake Cane in the future. Universal studios got their drainage plan done correctly, as you would expect from a private enterprise that can be easily sued, but we are the government and shouldn’t be held to the same standards.

Contact: Jim Hunt, Deputy Director of Public Works-Engineering, 407.246.3623,

I do not return phone calls.

Please don’t send emails, because these are harder to ignore and there is a paper trail.

March 1, 2012

We have known about this project for a year but have waited till March 1st to let you know so it will be more difficult for you to derail the project since we have already started taking construction bids.