$1.5 Million Project Aimed at Improving Florida River Quality

The project aims to reduce and treat runoff from a residential neighborhood that discharges to the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla.

In an effort to improve the quality of stormwater discharges to the St. Johns River, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) is funding a $1.5 million phase two project which aims to reduce and treat runoff from a residential neighborhood nearby.

"The City of Palatka is extremely grateful of the St. Johns River Water Management District's generosity," said Palatka Mayor Terrill Hill. "The district's cost-share grants have enabled us to complete stormwater and potable water line infrastructure improvements in the South Historic District."

The first phase of the project focused on aging stormwater infrastructure. The old infrastructure was replaced to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient loading to the river. Nitrogen and phosphorus loading in Florida's waterways is considered a leading driver of the harmful algal blooms that have plagued the state in recent years.  

The second phase will involve the installation of an exfiltration trench and stormwater conveyance over 11 blocks of Platka's South Historic District, targeting the two remaining discharge points that weren't included in the first phase.

The SJRWMD estimates that when the project is finished, the St. Johns River will see a total nitrogen reduction of 128 pounds per year and a total phosphorus reduction of nearly 17 pounds per year.

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