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September 6, 2006

The Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Town of Indian Shores recently signed an agreement to move forward on the fourth phase of a water quality improvement project that will collect and treat stormwater runoff prior to discharging into the Intracoastal Waterway.

This phase includes the design, permit and construction of flow-through stormwater treatment systems at five locations. The systems allow storm water to pass through while the solids and heavier pollutants settle to the bottom. The city’s public works department collects the settled pollutants and properly disposes of them.

Storm water is water that flows over land during and immediately after a rainstorm. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified stormwater runoff as Florida’s most serious water quality problem today. Pollutants associated with stormwater runoff include sediment, nutrients, heavy metals, oils, greases, pesticides and bacteria. Without proper treatment in developed areas, these pollutants adversely impact the quality of the receiving water.

Phases one, two and three involved the construction of 16 treatment systems. These treatment systems are a combination of dry retention ponds and flow-through treatment systems.

Each phase of this project is part of the city’s watershed management plan, a previous cooperative funding project between the District and the city, which identified about two dozen locations for water quality improvements.

The fourth phase of the project is expected to cost $540,000, which will be divided equally between the District’s Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board and the Town of Indian Shores.

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