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City of Orlando Challenging Issues, Integrated Solutions Southeast Lakes Conceptual Improvements

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Located in the central region of Florida, Orlando, “The City Beautiful” is well known for the large number of surface water bodies within its boundaries. The city encompasses a total area of 100.9-sq.mi., 7.4% of which is water, adding up to a total of 118 lakes. While Florida in general and Orlando in particular have regularly implemented advanced technology, water related research and planning and management tools, this century presents new challenges to the quality of the City's surface water systems. Climate change coupled with population growth and changes in land use have the potential to dramatically affect the water quality of surface water systems in the City. The City's population, for example, is expected to increase by 22% over the next 20-years, which translates to a population of 2.6-million people for the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. As weather patterns, types of land use and population numbers change, Federal and State regulations follow with tougher water quality standards requirements. In order to maintain the high water quality of the City's lake systems, provide flood protection, meet Federal and State requirements (i.e. NPDES, TMDL's, and NNC) and continue to be among the leading cities in surface water management, a unique plan was developed. While the Surface Water Program team developed its knowledge base on the basic characteristics of the lake system and the connectivity of its six-existing watersheds, City Leaders quantified the trade-offs between economic development and the City's ability to maintain high quality surface water and ecosystems. Traditional and innovative best management practices techniques were implemented in a vigorous surface water restoration and maintenance program. The restoration and maintenance activities implemented methods ranging from detention ponds and baffle boxes to stationary/Mobil Alum injection and mechanical aeration treatments. Aquatic Maintenance and Public Awareness constitute important parts of the City's Program. The program covers the six following watersheds: Howell Branch; Little Wekiva; Little Econlockhatchee; Shingle Creek; Boggy Creek, Lake Hart/Lake Mary Jane. A special committee was tasked with the mission of identifying all external sources of funding including Federal, State and local sources, which can potentially be used to jointly fund the program.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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