Septic tanks may pollute waterways

A potential source of water pollution could be in your back yard. Nationwide, about 20 percent of American homes use on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), more commonly known as septic tanks. In most states, septic tanks are used in rural areas where it is not cost-effective to run sewer lines to remote homes. […]

SFWMD plans to send water to tide – down through the earth

WEST PALM BEACH — The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board on Sept. 13 approved a plan to send excess freshwater from Lake Okeechobee down into the Boulder Zone instead of sending it to the coastal estuaries. The board voted to move forward with test wells and exploration of a strategy that could […]

Heavy nutrient load into lake fueled algae bloom

NOAA satellite images from Sept. 9 indicate that blue-green algae continues to bloom in the water or on the surface of a large part of Lake Okeechobee. As more information has become available, we have a clearer picture of why 2018 has been such an extreme bloom year in Florida’s largest lake. In the past, […]

Cyanobacteria bloom continues

The cyanobacteria bloom in Lake Okeechobee was in about 36 percent of the lake on Sept. 13, as documented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) satellite imagery, slightly decreased from the 38 percent observed by NOAA on Sept. 9. Cyanobacteria, also called “blue-green algae” although it is not technically algae, has been visible […]

Federal officials tour Everglades restoration projects

On Aug. 15, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board Chairman Federico Fernandez and Executive Director Ernie Marks joined the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James to highlight some of the major Everglades restoration projects targeted at reducing Lake Okeechobee discharges to the northern estuaries. Additional participants included U.S. Army […]

Want to stop algal blooms? Stop feeding the algae

The cyanobacterial blooms that have plagued South Florida this summer have led to protests from the public, promises from politicians and blame (mostly targeted at farmers and Lake Okeechobee) from the coastal media. But amid all of the slogans, sound bites and allegations, maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking where the algae […]

Loss of aquatic vegetation means ‘the lake is hurting’

High water levels are hurting Lake Okeechobee’s ecological balance. Water Resources Director Terrie Bates explained the issue at the July 12 meeting of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board. She said it is due to the lasting effects of Hurricane Irma, which churned the waters of the Big O and dumped enough rain […]

Mast argues for lower Lake Okeechobee level

STUART — Congressman Brian Mast’s proposal to lower Lake Okeechobee to 8 feet by the end of the dry season to prevent wet season releases to the coastal estuaries was the topic of discussion at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District briefing on Aug. 17 in Stuart City Hall. Ernie Marks, South Florida […]

Lakeside Ranch STA contract approved

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board last week awarded a contract to build the final piece of the Lakeside Ranch Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) project, the S-191A Pump Station. In cooperation with the other coordinating agencies, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, SFWMD’s project […]

Big healthy bass and big checks continue strong on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON — How is Lake Okeechobee doing? With lots of big bass hitting the stage and checks with big numbers being handed out, the anglers in the third qualifier of the 2018 Roland Martin Marine Center Series will tell you it’s doing just fine. With 137 boats launching out of Roland Martin Marina at safe […]