Lake Apopka pump station construction project moves forward

PALATKA, Fla., Aug. 10, 2016 -- One of the pump stations located within the St. Johns River Water Management District's Lake Apopka North Shore is scheduled for an overhaul. The governing board recently approved the project, which has an estimated budget of $350,000.

PALATKA, Fla., Aug. 10, 2016 — One of the pump stations located within the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Lake Apopka North Shore is scheduled for an overhaul. The governing board recently approved the project, which has an estimated budget of $350,000.

“Each project initiated at Lake Apopka is a strategic step toward restoring the lake’s ecosystem,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “This project specifically allows us to realize new efficiencies in our work on the Lake Apopka North Shore requiring water management and satisfy our larger goal of improved water quality at Lake Apopka.”

The Lake Apopka Duda Pump Station construction project, named for the farm that previously occupied the land that houses the pumps, will include replacement of two diesel pumps with two district-owned electric pumps, installation of a power line to the pumps and an overflow weir. Pump stations allow the district to manage the surrounding wetlands’ water levels.

The existing, manually operated, diesel system requires extensive effort to operate and can only be operated during the day when district staff are present to start, shut off, fuel and monitor the operation. This limits the ability to operate the system and requires significant staffing. Additionally, this project removes the diesel exhaust created by the existing pumps and associated fuel storage tank.

Work will take place near the Lake Apopka Loop Trail, an 18-mile non-motorized recreational trail. The trail will remain open during construction. Work is expected to be complete in early 2017.