Monday, November 16, 2015

From Bethany Rodgers at the Orlando Sentinel: A clever way to fix a vexing problem in Altamonte Springs

The problem of dirty water run-off from I-4 into Altamonte Springs was solved in a very clever way by the city, FDOT, the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Florida DEP. Here's an excerpt from the article in the Orlando Sentinel:
     On the average day, a slurry of dirty rainwater capable of filling seven Olympic-sized swimming pools slides off a section of Interstate 4 and drains into Altamonte Springs.
     City officials couldn't be more excited.
     They see the runoff that many would treat as waste as a resource that can help meet water needs for miles around. And with the recent completion of a $12.5 million system called A-FIRST, they'll be collecting the water, cleaning it up and using it to hydrate lawns across Altamonte Springs and Apopka.
     "With this project, we now make usable 4.5 million gallons of rainwater a day," Altamonte Springs city manager Frank Martz said.
It's the first time that runoff from a major highway in Florida has been collected and re-purposed in this way. In fact, city officials say A-FIRST might be the first system of its kind anywhere in the United States. [emphasis added]
The Friends of the Wekiva River, a local environmental group, is also quite happy with this development.