Representatives from the City of Lakeland, Florida Southern College and the District recently celebrated the completion of a stormwater treatment wetland at Anchor Park.
The Southern Landing Stormwater Treatment Wetland Project will improve water quality in Lake Hollingsworth, serve as a beautiful area for public recreation, and provide research opportunities for students attending Florida Southern College. This project builds upon improvements made to the lake by two previous cooperative funding projects — a sediment-dredging project and a whole-lake alum application project.
Before the project began, four stormwater outfalls near the site discharged without any pre-treatment directly into Lake Hollingsworth. Now, the outfalls are routed through a baffle box, which removes larger sediment and pollutants. From there, the water flows into a vegetated catch basin where it undergoes further treatment before being discharged into the lake.
Each year the stormwater treatment wetland is expected to remove approximately 13,500 pounds of total suspended solids, 200 pounds of total nitrogen and 90 pounds of total phosphorous. An excess of nitrogen and phosphorous causes excessive algae growth, which blocks out the light needed for submerged plants to grow. This process eventually leads to a buildup of sediment on the bottom of the lake, which will need to be dredged. This project reduces the amount of these nutrients entering the lake, and will help prevent the need for future dredging.
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