The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Central District participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating completion of the Lake Mary Jess Stormwater Improvement Project. Just in time to wrap up National Lakes Appreciation Month, this project will improve water quality in Lake Mary Jess as well as other water bodies downstream, including Lake Conway.
The Lake Mary Jess Drainage and Water Quality Improvement Project was a Community Budget Issue Request item back that was awarded $466,000 by the Legislature in 2006. The project is designed to treat stormwater from State Road 527 and surrounding commercial development by redirecting it into a new, specially designed treatment facility that captures trash, sediment and pollutants such as phosphorus before discharging downstream to Lake Mary Jess.
“The Department is impressed with the initiative of all those involved in this project,” said Jeff Prather, Central District Director. “Protection and restoration of Lake Mary Jess is just one of the benefits that will be realized from these partnerships to improve water quality.”
The project is a joint effort involving the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Transportation, the City of Edgewood, the Lake Mary Jess Advisory Board and the Commerce Center Industrial Park.
“The Lake Mary Jess Stormwater Improvement Project is a shining example of partners working together to improve water quality in Orange County and downstream to water bodies such as Lake Conway and even as far as the Everglades,” said Mayor of Orange County Teresa Jacobs.
Rain and storm events cause runoff carrying sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, oil, heavy metals, bacteria, and other contaminants to enter surface waters, causing adverse effects from increased pollution and sedimentation. Projects such as the Lake Mary Jess Drainage and Water Quality Improvement Project control the problems associated with stormwater runoff, improve water quality and reduce the impacts of flooding.