Volusia County secures $5.5 million for Mosquito Lagoon Water Quality Improvement Project.
Written by Anthony Bicy
Belden Communications News
On Tuesday, the Volusia County Council signed an agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a $5.5 million grant to improve the environmental water quality in the Mosquito Lagoon.
The lagoon suffers from high nutrient loads that contribute to algal blooms that are harmful to the aquatic ecosystem. The focus will be on reducing the nutrient loads to improve water quality.
According to recent studies, effluent from septic systems are a significant cause of the excess nutrient problem.
The southeast region plant in Oak hill has a current daily treatment capacity of 600,000 gallons. By upgrading the plant to a biological nutrient removal process, the County plans to double the plant's treatment capacity to 1.2 million gallons per day.
Volusia County has put in $12 million towards this project, and they have estimated it to take three years to construct. Upon completion, there will be a significant reduction of nitrogen and phosphorous in the lagoon.
"I believe Volusia County is taking the lead," said Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower. "We are upgrading all of our plants and are working and spending millions of dollars on stormwater runoff, and I think it's important that the public know that, yes, this is state-required, but county staff and past county councils were way ahead of the curve on this one."
The council also awarded a $1,855,770 contract to Carr & Collier Inc. to retrofit an existing stormwater facility in southeast Volusia that gives an additional level of treatment to rainwater before it flows into the Ariel Canal on its way to the Mosquito Lagoon.
The Ariel Canal drains stormwater runoff from an approximately 2-square-mile basin that includes portions of unincorporated Volusia County, Edgewater, and Oak Hill. The project will divert stormwater into a wet detention pond for additional treatment, significantly reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous in the lagoon.
The Department of Environmental Protection has covered $900,000 of the cost, while the St. John's River Management will pay $450,000 based on cost-share agreements.