Everglades Water Quality Remains Impressive Despite Record Rainfall Years
Nov. 8, 2018
Miami, FL – Amid record rainfall from storms such as Hurricane Irma, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has dramatically reduced the concentration of nutrients found in the Everglades.
"The tremendous investment made by the taxpayers of the state of Florida over the past two decades to improve water quality in the Everglades has paid off," said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Federico Fernandez. "The restoration measures undertaken pursuant to state and federal permits for regulating Everglades water quality have achieved ultra-clean water quality standards of 10 parts per billion or less of phosphorus for at least 90 percent of the Everglades."
SFWMD Water Quality Bureau Chief Stuart Van Horn briefed the Governing Board at its monthly meeting in Miami on the results of the last five years regarding water quality in the Water Conservation Areas. From Hurricane Irma's deluge to other tropical systems, the District experienced one of the wettest years on record. The District received more than 51 inches of rain during the 2017 wet season, resulting in record rainfall and record amounts of water delivered to the Everglades. Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) have treated approximately 1.6 million acre-feet, or 520 billion gallons, of water before moving it south.
Since being constructed, the STAs have removed more than 2,600 metric tons of phosphorus from water entering the Everglades. Over $2 billion of state taxpayer dollars has been invested into water quality improvements over the last 20 years.