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New treatment system will clean Butler Chain

An alum treatment system will improve the water quality of Windermere’s iconic bodies of water.

Learn more about the Butler Chain of Lakes »

This is why a study was conducted in 2007 to determine its water quality and assess the highest areas of pollution. The study discovered that the most troublesome area for stormwater runoff and baseflow entering the chain originated in the north side of Lake Down.

“Lake quality is key for us,” said Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn. “The Butler Chain is designated by the state Legislature as an Outstanding Florida Waterway. As such, there are higher standards for the Butler Chain of Lakes, and more requirements, more rules.”

The polluted water entering Lake Down from the north contained high concentrations of phosphorus. This is problematic because the lakes’ water flow north to south, carrying the polluted water into Wauseon Bay, which ultimately discharges into Lake Butler and eventually finds its way into the southern lakes of the Butler Chain.

To remedy this, Orange County Environmental Protection Division initiated an alum treatment system to improve the water quality entering the north side of Lake Down. The project, funded by the Windermere Water and NavigationControl District, remained at a standstill in the planning stages for several years but was finally completed in mid-July.