Big and little efforts can help reduce water pollution

Aug. 8, 2023

Solar panel powering a monitoring station

Water quality information is captured at monitoring sites throughout the District year-round through telemetry and by staff members.

If you live in one of the 18 counties within the St. Johns River Water Management District, chances are you aren’t far from one of the many natural or man-made water bodies that dot our state.

Florida is home to nearly 8,000 lakes and 1,700 rivers, streams and springs. District staff work on many of these waterways each day as part of our water quality core mission. During Water Quality Month (observed each August), we’re reminded of the importance of this core mission’s work, which includes gathering and processing samples and data at hundreds of monitoring sites, restoring wetlands that naturally filter pollutants from the water, and permitting stormwater systems that capture and treat runoff.

Among larger water quality projects, the District conducts gizzard shad harvests to remove the phosphorus contained in the fishes’ bodies and that they stir up while feeding on the bottom of lakes, and we have worked with partners in several waterways to dredge muck filled with pollutants to remove those “legacy loads” from water bodies. Other examples of our water quality improvement projects are:

While we continue our work, here are three things you can do to reduce water pollution:

  • Keep grass clippings and other yard debris out of storm drains and roadways.
  • Pick up after your pet and dispose of their wastes in trash cans.
  • Dispose of oil, paint and other chemicals properly, such as at designated collection centers.

See our past stories