The Water Quality Program was initiated in 1997 to meet federal and state National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit and the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) regulatory requirements. The mission of the Water Quality Program (WQP) is to monitor, protect, and restore the quality of surface waters in Seminole County. This is achieved through coordinated water chemistry and biological monitoring programs, providing formal water resource assessments, public education and volunteer programs, and by providing technical assistance to residents, other agencies and local governments.
Long term monitoring and biological assessments are used to analyze the health of County waterbodies and determine whether they have declining, stable or improving water quality trends. Computer modeling is used to analyze the amount of pollution reaching a waterbody from its surrounding watershed, as well as determining the impacts that the pollutants have on the waterbody’s long term health. The WQP regularly monitors 77 waterbodies for water chemistry and biology; 145 waterbodies are monitored regularly for hydrologic data; 15 weather stations, located in each of the major watersheds, collect meteorological data used not only for watershed assessments but for emergency management purposes. All of this information, as well as data and information from many other sources, is stored in the Seminole Watershed Atlas (http://www.seminole.wateratlas.usf.edu/), which is a user friendly, online database and repository of water resource data and stormwater educational information accessible to the public, professionals, and other agencies.
The WQP has an extensive educational outreach and volunteer program called the Seminole Education, Restoration, and Volunteer Program or SERV Program.
The science-based Lake Management Program (LMP) was initiated in FY 2006/07 primarily to address the regulatory requirements of the state and federal Total Maximum Daily Load program of the Clean Water Act. The overall goal of the program is to achieve regulatory compliance through the restoration of “impaired” waterbodies to their natural state, meeting their designated uses (i.e. recreational waters that are “fishable” and “swimmable” and support diverse ecosystems). The program works directly with lake front homeowners and homeowner associations and focuses resources and activities on lakes and waterbodies most immediately impacted by the state’s TMDL implementation schedule. The LMP concentrates efforts on in-lake assessments and restorations, as well as targeted watershed education and source reduction through the contracted Florida Yards and Neighborhoods (FYN) Program for these priority waterbodies. All 7 cities provide cost shares for FYN.
LMP provides technical assistance and oversight to the county’s Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) Program for the numerous individual aquatic weed control MSBU’s, which includes providing vendor assistance and support for the execution of the recommended activities for the various lakes and conducting monthly monitoring on 8 MSBU lakes as well as providing the respective communities with inspection updates and educational information. Learn more about the MSBU Program in the Lake Associations video.
Surface Water Quality Program
Cheyenne Hammell, Water Quality Technician
Lake Management Program
Joseph Cordell, Lake Management Technician