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A Strategy for Water Quality Protection:
Wastewater Treatment in the Wekiva Study Area
In June 2004, former Governor Bush visited Wekiwa
Springs State Park to sign the Wekiva Parkway and
Protection Act into law. This landmark legislation memorialized the
remarkable consensus of governments, communities, environmental
advocates and transportation planners to align growth management with
natural resource protection.
Since the law went into effect, the
Department of Environmental Protection has worked with its partner
agencies to develop recommendations for protecting regional springs and
waterways. January 20, 2005, a preliminary report on A Strategy for
Water Quality Protection: Wastewater Treatment in the Wekiva Study Area
was submitted to former Governor Bush as required in Section 369.318(1), F.S.
of the Act. view
This initial assessment examines the
efficacy and applicability of wastewater treatment standards to reduce
nitrogen and protect waters within the Wekiva Study Area, a 300,000-acre
landscape encompassing the recharge area of at least 27 springs.
Following this four-month study, the
Department is proposing zones for three levels of protection based on
the potential rate of recharge to the aquifer and Wekiva Study Area
springs. Recognizing the effects of land use on water quality, the study
suggests enhancing wastewater treatment within the protection zones to
reduce the impact of nutrients discharged from regulated facilities.
The report will be discussed with the Wekiva
Basin Commission at their meeting early this year. Coupled with
existing restoration programs and continued scientific evaluation, this
proposal lays the groundwork for preserving rivers, springs and habitat
within the Wekiva River system while meeting the growing transportation
needs of Central Florida.
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