Here’s what we’re doing in Seminole County

Sunrise over Lake Jesup in Seminole County.
Sunrise over Lake Jesup in Seminole County.

The work of the St. Johns River Water Management District is all about water. Our staff work each day on your behalf to protect water. This work is focused on four core missions: water supply, water quality, flood protection and natural systems enhancement and protection.

Seminole County is just one of the 18 counties where we do our work. Following is an overview of some of the ways that your tax dollars benefit not only the residents and visitors to the county, but also its natural and water resources.

Have you seen construction projects in your community or wonder where your water comes from? Chances are, the District issued a permit through its regulatory programs. The Consumptive Use Permitting Program reviews requests for water use and determines the amount of water available to be withdrawn from groundwater or surface water for uses such as public supply utilities, agricultural operations, commercial uses and power generation. Environmental Resource Permits authorize new construction in a way to prevent harm to water resources (such as causing adverse flooding), manage surface water and protect water quality, wetlands and other surface waters.

Water supply planning and our regulatory and water conservation programs are examples of how we apply our water supply core mission each day.

Strategies to protect and restore water quality include a commitment to comprehensive monitoring to guide impairment determinations, manage restoration projects and evaluate effectiveness.

Flood protection comes in many forms, such as water storage in natural wetlands and your neighborhood stormwater pond or flood control structures built in strategic locations.

Natural systems benefit from lands the District has purchased for conservation and restoration. These lands are open for free for your enjoyment. On lands not owned by the District, natural systems benefit from effective permitting, water quality improvement projects, minimum flows and levels and cost-share projects.

The District owns or manages the following public lands in your county:

Prescribed fire helps maintain fire-dependent public lands.

Public lands help protect Florida’s endangered plants and animals.

Minimum flows and levels balance people’s and nature’s needs. MFLs in your county are:

  • Lake Brantley
  • East Crystal
  • Howell
  • Miami Springs
  • Lake Mills
  • Palm Springs
  • Red Bug Lake
  • Sanlando Springs
  • Starbuck Spring
  • Sylvan Lake
  • Little Wekiva/Wekiva River

Learn more about MFLs.

Forest path in Wekiva River Buffer
The Wekiva River Buffer Conservation Area in Seminole County.
Spring with a monitor station
Miami Springs is located in Seminole County.

The District constructs large, regional projects that often benefit multiple counties and benefit more than one of the District’s core missions. Some of the projects in your county include:

  • Intact Cellular Algae Harvesting with Simultaneous Nutrient Export in Lake Jesup — This is a pilot project that employs innovative technology to remove intact cellular algae, suspended solids and associated nutrients directly from the lake’s water column. Data was collected to evaluate the technology’s efficiency and the cost effectiveness of a full-scale system that can help achieve the Lake Jesup Total Maximum Daily Load and Basin Management Action Plan goals.
  • Lake Jesup Nutrient Reduction and Flow Enhancement — This project will consist of two components. The nutrient reduction component will be a recirculating wetland treatment system that will capture and treat nutrient-laden lake water pumped from Lake Jesup. Once treated, the water is discharged back into the lake. The treated discharge will also improve light penetration into the lake’s water column and encourage growth of beneficial submerged aquatic vegetation. The flow enhancement component focuses on improving water clarity/quality and providing habitat enhancements by introducing additional flow from the St. Johns River via the construction of an inflow channel into the eastern portion of Lake Jesup under the eastern span of the State Road 46 bridge.
A mobile algal harvesting unit
A mobile algal harvesting unit mounted on a barge removes algae from Lake Jesup.

The District’s cost-share programs help local governments, agricultural entities, disadvantaged communities, and other non-governmental organizations undertake projects to benefit one or more of the District’s core missions and benefit your community. Such projects include upgrades to water treatment facilities, expansion of reclaimed water lines, creating stormwater treatment ponds and parks, etc. Here are examples of this work in your county.

  • Altamonte Springs Water Reclamation Projects.
    • Altamonte Springs Direct Potable Reuse Pilot Project —The project includes construction of a potable reuse pilot project (pureALTA), including a side stream treatment train to the current wastewater treatment process. The project has the potential, if implemented as a full-scale project, to provide an estimated nutrient load reduction water quality benefit to the Wekiwa-Rock Spring is 473 to 1,183 lbs/yr and 243 to 607 lbs/yr TP. The project received a 2018 Market-Changing Water Technology award from the International Association in Tokyo, Japan, and was the only pilot honored from the U.S. It also won the 2017 WateReuse Innovative Project of the Year at the nation’s preeminent water reuse conference in Phoenix, AZ.
    • Regional Water Reclamation Facility — The project consists of treatment process improvements at the Altamonte Springs Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility from secondary to advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) standards and nutrient effluent concentrations to provide a higher treatment level. The estimated nutrient load reduction water quality benefit to the Wekiwa-Rock Spring is 10,274 lbs/yr TN and 54,794 lbs/yr TP.
    • Regional Water Reclamation Facility Phase 2 — This project involves the conversion of three rectangular clarifiers into secondary anoxic and reaeration treatment basins, and construction of two 90-foot diameter circular clarifiers and related appurtenances that will result in more efficient performance and greater overall treatment. The project will provide an additional 3.5 mgd of water treated to AWT standards. The estimated nutrient load reduction water quality benefit to the Wekiwa-Rock Spring is 6,153 lbs/yr of TN and 21,309 lbs/yr TP.
  • Longwood Septic-to-Sewer — Since 2016, six different projects in Longwood resulted in the elimination of 843 septic tanks. Project components include installation of a central sewer system, abandonment of the septic tanks, installation of the individual laterals, repair of the roadway for the lateral connections only and physical connection of the homes to the sewer system. TN reduction: 17,656lbs./yr.; TP reduction: 2,615 lbs./yr.; Alternative water supplied: 0.033 mgd.
  • Read about our cost-share program.
  • See other projects

The District collects a wealth of data that is used to make science-based decisions in all our work. This includes data on how much rain your county has received, the water levels in area lakes and rivers, the amount of nutrients in natural waterways, planning to address future water supply needs and much more.

The Blue School Grant Program provides funding to teachers within the District in support of their efforts to engage students in understanding and appreciating Florida’s freshwater and estuarine systems.

Blue School Grant Program winners.

  • Crooms Academy of Information Technology
  • Tuskawilla Middle School
  • Winter Springs High School
  • Teague Middle School

Encourage your child’s teacher to apply for a grant.

Contact us about a speaker for your group. We’d love the opportunity to speak with you about our work. Speaker’s bureau.

Free materials you can read or download at home or school.

Student examining a muddy screen
Students from Crooms Academy at Altamonte Springs participate with District staff in a Blue School Grant Program field trip.

Staff in our Governmental Affairs Program provide water resource information, assistance and support to federal, state and local elected officials and their staffs, and collaborate on water resource issues, programs and projects. One of the ways you may have met team members is during the annual Water Conservation Month observance when your local governments approved proclamations recognizing the observance.

Seminole County commissioners
Seminole County commissioners approved a proclamation naming April Water Conservation Month during 2022.