FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 6, 2013
DEP ISSUES EVERGLADES PERMIT FOR STORMWATER STORAGE AND FLOW
~Permit to South Florida Water Management District continues work on Everglades restoration~
PALM BEACH COUNTY~ Today, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a permit to the
South Florida Water Management District to construct the L-8 Flow Equalization Basin, a structure designed to store 15 billion gallons of water so that it can be treated and moved south to the Everglades. It is one of three storage components of Governor Rick Scott's Everglades Water Quality Restoration Plan.
construction is complete, stormwater - which at peak flow times is released to
the ocean - will be safely held in a deep reservoir and later cleaned and redirected to the
Everglades. It will allow water managers the flexibility to store stormwater that under certain peak flow scenarios may have been diverted to the ocean or water conservation areas -- and direct flows for treatment prior to entering the Everglades.
"The Department and the South Florida Water Management District continue to move forward with Everglades restoration projects with the support of Governor Scott," said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. "This project will allow for additional water storage and cleaner water moving south, which will ensure the proper nourishment of the River of Grass."
flow equalization basin will use a 53-foot-deep reservoir capable of storing approximately 45,000
acre-feet of water, or the equivalent of 22,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water. The seven
interconnected underground cells will be utilized to effectively manage basin stormwater. During storm
events and other peak flow events, the reservoir will act as a storage feature. During dry periods, the reservoir will deliver flows for optimized treatment prior to those flows entering the Everglades.
below-ground reservoir was a former rock mine site located in central Palm
Beach County. The location’s unique geology allows for deep, below-ground
storage, reduces water loss through seepage and minimizes levee safety
of embankment protection features is currently underway. The permit authorizes construction of a permanent discharge pump station and inflow feature. Construction of the pump station and inflow spillway is
scheduled for November 2013 through April 2015.
"Moving forward with construction of the L-8 Flow
Equalization Basin reflects yet another milestone in improving the quality of
water flowing south into the Everglades,” said South Florida Water Management
District Executive Director Blake Guillory. “The District is committed to
delivering this project on schedule in order to realize as soon as possible the
important environmental benefits it will provide.”
project is a result of Governor Scott’s direction to the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District to
develop a plan to address water quality concerns associated with existing flows
to the Everglades Protection Area. The plan was presented to United States Environmental Protection Agency in late
2011. After coordination with EPA, the final plan was finalized by the Department in September of
Governor’s landmark water quality plan includes:
- 6,500 acres of additional
stormwater treatment areas, which are man-made managed wetlands that
naturally remove phosphorus from water prior to the water being
discharged into the Everglades.
- 110,000 acre-feet of water
storage capabilities in flow equalization basins, or reservoirs that work
with the proposed and existing stormwater treatment areas to regulate
flows and optimize treatment efficiency.
- Other components of the
plan include engineering projects in existing treatment areas and the
modification of conveyance features necessary to move the water through
the South Florida Water Management District’s massive flood control and
water delivery features.