District, city of Palatka nearing completion on projects to improve St. Johns River water quality, save water

The Booker Park Regional Stormwater Pond is one of three cost-share projects between the city of Palatka and the district coming to completion in March.

The Booker Park Regional Stormwater Pond is one of three cost-share projects between the city of Palatka and the district coming to completion in March.

PALATKA, Fla., March 28, 2018 — The St. Johns River Water Management District and the city of Palatka are coming down the homestretch on three water resource protection projects totaling nearly $2 million. Projects will reduce potable water losses from old cast-iron water pipes, aid in fire suppression and reduce stormwater discharges into the St. Johns River from commercial and residential areas of the city.

“Protecting water quality and promoting conservation are among the district’s core missions, so working with local government partners who share in that obligation just makes good sense,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “The city of Palatka is the district’s hometown, so it is particularly gratifying when we are able to partner on great projects such as these to protect the St. Johns River and to provide consistent water pressure for customers and better fire suppression.”

“The city of Palatka is extremely appreciative of the continued support provided by the St. Johns River Water Management District,” said City Manager Zeriah K. Folston. “Through the cost-share programs, the city has achieved upgrades to its infrastructure that have positively impacted the quality of life for the residents of Palatka through improved water quality and conservation and enabled the city to assist in protecting the St. Johns River, which is one of our most valuable resources. Through the support of the district, the city has been able to leverage funds to enlarge the scope of our Potable Water Initiative and schedule additional phases for construction.”

Projects include:

  • The first phase of a city initiative to replace aging cast-iron water pipes with PVC pipe will significantly reduce water losses occurring through leaks, breaks and necessary cast-iron pipe flushing. The $500,000 project will improve water reliability for customers and will provide consistent water pressure necessary for fire hydrants to work properly in the event of a fire. This project is fully funded by the district through its cost-share funding program for Rural Economic Development Initiative communities.
  • Phase 1 of the city’s Booker Park project includes the construction of a stormwater treatment pond to treat runoff from a 200-acre residential/commercial area of the city that currently discharges to the river. The district is funding $440,000 of the $794,000 for Phase 1. The Booker Park project will reduce annual total nitrogen loading to the river by approximately 800 pounds and total phosphorus loading by approximately 150 pounds. The city ultimately plans to harvest water from the pond to irrigate an adjacent community park that currently uses potable water for irrigation.
  • The South Historic District Stormwater Project involves the installation of a treatment system to treat runoff from a residential neighborhood that also discharges to the St. Johns River. The district is funding $468,000 of the $691,000 project for Phase 1. The project also will replace aging stormwater infrastructure within the project area. The South Historic District Stormwater project is anticipated to help reduce annual total nitrogen loading to the river by approximately 80 pounds and total phosphorus loading by approximately 8 pounds.
    All three projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of March.

For information about district cost-share programs, visit the district’s website at www.sjrwmd.com/localgovernments/funding.