MAITLAND, Fla., Sept. 27, 2017 — The St. Johns River Water Management District joined city of Winter Garden leaders and others to celebrate the start of a reclaimed water and stormwater project. The district provided $750,000 for the work, which captures and stores excess stormwater, improving aquifer recharge and water quality at nearby Lake Apopka.
“We applaud the city for embracing the use of stormwater, which is increasingly used for water supply and water resource development projects,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Chief of Staff Lisa Kelley. “We’re proud to be a funding partner on this project as we work together to ensure sustainable use of Florida’s water.”
“The city of Winter Garden is excited to support a long-term approach to better manage our water resources”, said Winter Garden City Manager Mike Bollhoefer. “This project captures more stormwater for the aquifer to benefit not just Winter Garden, but all of central Florida.”
The project was designed out of need for additional water sources for irrigation that would not impact groundwater levels or spring flows while addressing the effect of untreated stormwater runoff on Lake Apopka’s water quality.
Once completed, the project is expected to capture and add 2 million gallons per day (mgd) of stormwater to the city’s reclaimed water infrastructure. Located within the Central Florida Water Initiative, the project will also improve aquifer recharge, the process where water soaks from surface water to groundwater, not only benefiting the city’s water supplies but groundwater for the central Florida region.
The diverted stormwater will also improve water quality by reducing the amount of stormwater runoff entering Lake Apopka, decreasing phosphorus loading by nearly 11,000 pounds and nitrogen by 2,000 pounds annually.
The total estimated construction cost is $3.1 million. The district and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection each provided $750,000 in funding. The city of Winter Garden provided $1.6 million.
For more information about the district’s cost-share program, visit www.sjrwmd.com/funding.