Ribbon Cutting for Smart Pond in Longwood
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Seminole County Government and St. John’s River Water Management officials cut the ribbon Friday, July 7, 2017 at the site of the new Lake Jesup Nutrient Reduction Facility (NuRF) in Longwood. The NuRF was constructed to reduce nutrient loads carried to Lake Jesup by the Soldiers Creek Watershed.
The Florida Department of Transportation and St. John’s River Water Management District partnered with Seminole County to build the facility, with FDOT providing roughly $7.5 million in funding for design, construction and maintenance. This project saved $3.8 million in costs for a widening project along nearby U.S. Highway 17-92, by eliminating the need for FDOT to build additional pond, which would have required more land and the taking of a local business. It also saved the Department wetland mitigation costs, in the range of $300-thousand per acre. The project garnered the Davis (Prudential) Productivity Award for the Department.
- This facility is located in the Soldiers Creek Watershed, which drains to Lake Jesup and then ultimately to the St. Johns River
- The Soldiers Creek Watershed encompasses a total land area of approximately 19 square miles (over 12,000 acres), including portions of unincorporated Seminole County and the Cities of Lake Mary, Longwood, Sanford and Winter Springs
- Stormwater runoff from the watershed can be a potential source for many pollutants, such as phosphorus and nitrogen (nutrients)
- The facility can remove up to 82% of total phosphorus and 43% of total nitrogen from the water it treats
- This equates to removing up to 4,675 pounds per year of total nitrogen and 2,137 pounds per year of total phosphorus that will be prevented from entering Lake Jesup
- During treatment, the alum mixes with stormwater and forms particles that attract and capture pollutants found in the water, producing “floc”
- The floc particles settle to the bottom of the collection trough and then the cleaned creek water flows through the stormwater pond and then back into Soldiers Creek
- The system is capable of providing treatment for inflows up to 50 cubic feet per second (cfs).
John Horan, Chairman, Seminole County Board of County Commissioners: "The partnership created for this project addresses important transportation and environmental needs in Seminole County. It demonstrates the type of intergovernmental collaboration that leverages state, regional and local resources to fund the construction of essential infrastructure. It is a win/win for all involved; especially for the taxpayers. Seminole County greatly appreciates its valuable relationship with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and the FDOT."
Ferrell Hickson, District Drainage Engineer, Florida Department of Transportation: "The Florida Department of Transportation is always looking for innovative project ideas. Not only is this project innovative, but also saved tax payers $3.8 million by not taking the conventional design approach. We are pleased to be a part of this great project that will benefit both the community and the environment."