Water Quality Project to Benefit Ichetucknee River and Springs

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Press Release

LIVE OAK, FL, July 22, 2014 - A collaborative effort is underway: the City of Lake City, Columbia County and the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) are moving to the next step in a project to address and improve the water quality in the Ichetucknee Springshed following a successful public meeting. The project is now in the design and permitting phase.

The Ichetucknee Springshed Water Quality Improvement project will provide benefits to the Ichetucknee River and springs by reducing nutrient loading. Presently, Lake City’s wastewater effluent is sent to sprayfields located on the Ichetucknee Trace and water recharging the aquifer in this area has been shown to reach the springs in a matter of days.

The City’s sprayfields will be converted into approximately 140 acres treatment wetlands will reduce the nutrient loading to the Ichetucknee River. This happens as the wetland system denitrifies the nutrients through natural processes involving vegetation and microorganisms converting it to nitrogen gas into the atmosphere. This natural process occurs daily in our environment.

The project will improve water quality by reducing Lake City's wastewater nutrient loadings up to 85 percent, thus reducing nutrient loading to the adjacent streams and groundwater which drain to the Ichetucknee. It is an excellent step in reducing overall nutrient loading in the springshed.

This treatment wetlands system has been successfully employed in various locations throughout the state, such as Gainesville and Tallahassee.

The construction phase of the Ichetucknee Springshed Water Quality Improvement Project is expected to begin in January of 2015.

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