An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Orange County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Herbicide Application on Lake Down, 10/1

OCAlerts logo

The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 10/1/2020.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage floating plants and hydrilla in the Fisher/Main St. Canal.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS:
•  DO NOT USE FOR ANIMAL DRINKING SUPPLY FOR 1 DAY.
•  DO NOT USE FOR IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY FOR 5 DAYS.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Herbicide Application on Lake Bumby, 9/30

OCAlerts logo

The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 9/30/20.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage Hydrilla in the Lake.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS:
•  DO NOT USE FOR ANIMAL DRINKING SUPPLY FOR 1 DAY.
•  DO NOT USE FOR IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY FOR 5 DAYS.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Exploring the widespread impacts of ongoing nitrogen pollution

The release of reactive nitrogen into the environment is having severe and ongoing ecosystem, economic, and human health impacts. How can we reduce our nitrogen footprint?

Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients in the environment, but its natural cycling has been significantly altered by human activities, specifically the release of excessive and harmful amounts of nitrogen from various sources including fertilizers, animal and human wastes, fossil fuel combustion, and mining.

Nitrogen Overload: Environmental Degradation, Ramifications, and Economic Costs, a new book recently published by AGU (American Geophysical Union), seeks to improve our understanding of the negative impacts of so much excess reactive nitrogen in the environment.

Visit the link below for a summary of content from the book. In the article the author, Brian G. Katz, a scientist who has spent the past four decades investigating the transport and fate of nitrogen in groundwater, springs, surface waters, and the atmosphere, gives an overview of the main issues.

Herbicide Application on Lake Marilyn, 9/25

OCAlerts logo

The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 9/25/20.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage lilies in the Lake.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS:
•  DO NOT USE FOR ANIMAL DRINKING SUPPLY FOR 1 DAY.
•  DO NOT USE FOR IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY FOR 5 DAYS.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Governor announces $50M in springs funding

On Friday, Sept. 17th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced $50 million for more than 20 statewide springs restoration projects during a press conference in Weeki Wachee.

Among the projects that will be funded are these:

Northwest Florida Water Management District
$1.1 million to extend central sewer service to the Tara Estates neighborhood located north of Marianna, including abandoning septic tanks proximate to the Chipola River.

Southwest Florida Water Management District
A total of more than $8.3 million for projects in Marion County that will help protect Rainbow Springs, including Burkitt Road Septic to Sewer, Northwest Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion, Oak Bend I-75 Water Quality Improvement and the 180th Avenue Package Plant Abatement.

St. Johns River Water Management District
$1.1 million for the Apopka West Reuse Storage Facility and Reclaimed Water Extension project that will provide nearly 3.48 million gallons per day of reclaimed water, benefiting Wekiwa and Rock springs.

Suwannee River Water Management District
A total of more than $2.3 million for the acquisition of more than 3,600 acres of land to protect springs in Columbia County Grasslands (Ichetucknee Springs), Devil’s Ear Springs Recharge (Ginnie Springs Group), Santa Fe Springs and Sawdust Spring (Sawdust and Devil’s Ear springs). The acquisition of these lands will help improve aquifer recharge potential, enhance recreational opportunities and protect native species.

Herbicide Application on Lake Conway (Venetian Canal South), 9/22

OCAlerts logo

The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 9/22/2020.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage Hygrophila and floating plants in the canal.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS:
•  DO NOT USE FOR ANIMAL DRINKING SUPPLY FOR 1 DAY.
•  DO NOT USE FOR IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY FOR 5 DAYS.
These restrictions apply ONLY to residents in the Venetian Canal South

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Restrictions apply ONLY to the areas in red in the aerial view below:

Lake Conway Map

EPA allocates $1M to help USF study harmful algal blooms

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is sending $1 million to the University of South Florida to help study methods to control harmful algal blooms (HAB).

The USF study aims to look at “nutrient treatment technologies” to help manage those blooms inside Lake Okeechobee.

On Thursday, the EPA announced nearly $6.5 million in funding for seven different research institutions across the country to help study mitigation efforts.

“Harmful algal blooms are a serious and persistent problem across all 50 states that can have severe impacts on human health, the environment, and the economy,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a release on the grant funds.

Lake Alert issued for Orlando's Park Lake

To address citizen concerns related to water quality, the Stormwater Section has developed a public information system, "Lake Alert," to provide seasonal and localized warnings for City of Orlando lakes. An announcement has been provided below regarding the lake(s) where water quality has been a concern.

  • Type of water quality concern: Possible elevated E. coli counts due to a sanitary sewer overflow
  • Location: Park Lake Circle, near the intersection of Highland Avenue
  • Cause: Heavy grease and sand deposits in sanitary line. Estimated 250 gallons of sanitary waste was discharged.
  • City Response: City Water Reclamation stopped the overflow by removing the accumulated debris in the sanitary line. City crews cleaned impacted area. Warning signs were placed around Park Lake on September 6, 2020.

The City is advising that water contact activities cease until further notice, including irrigation. City Stormwater personnel will collect water samples on a routine basis. Once E. coli counts drop to acceptable State Water Quality Standards, the Lake Alert Hotline number and the City's Lake Alert website will be updated.

Public Notification: Please continue to call the Lake Alert number, 407.246.2220, for the most up-to-date information regarding your lake. During weekdays, the City's Lake Alert website, orlando.gov/lakealert will also have the latest information.

For further information regarding the sewer discharge, please contact Athena Tipaldos, Water Reclamation Compliance and Public Awareness Program Manager, at athena.tipaldos@orlando.gov. For water quality questions, please contact Lisa Lotti, Stormwater Compliance Manager, at lisa.lotti@orlando.gov.

FDACS launches “Florida Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Program”

Last week, state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) launched the Florida Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Program, a $2 million grant program to upgrade publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants with energy-efficient technology.

This new grant initiative was developed by the FDACS Office of Energy based on the findings of their study entitled “Mapping the Energy Landscape of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants in the State of Florida.”

This recently completed study provides a baseline on energy efficiency and renewable energy measures and practices at water and wastewater treatment plants in Florida, and recommendations on how to reduce energy use and operating costs. The study found that Florida’s wastewater treatment plants could save annually 26,763,827 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 6,354 tons of carbon dioxide through energy efficiency improvements.