Polk County Water Atlas


Water quality monitoring is an important component of a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). The monitoring requirement for Phase I MS4s is supported by Rule 62-624.600 of the Florida Administrative Code. The primary objective of the SWMP is to reduce pollutant discharge from the MS4 to waters of the state and therefore monitoring is necessary to assess the continued effectiveness of the SWMP and properly manage its activities. Phase I MS4 monitoring plans must meet the following goals:

Collecting a water quality sample

  1. Identify potential water quality problem areas related to stormwater runoff that can be targeted for corrective action including, but not limited to, retrofits and Best Management Practices (BMPs). "Structural" BMPs involve changes to the landscape (berms, swales, retention/detention/filtering basins), stormwater infrastructure, or buildings/parking lots (vegetated rooftops, cisterns, porous pavement, etc.). "Non-structural" BMPs involve process/activity changes (e.g., public/industry education, ordinances/restrictions, management/maintenance practices).
  2. Measure the effectiveness of stormwater pollution reduction measures (i.e., BMPs) that have been or will be implemented; and
  3. Document pollutant loadings and/or trends in pollutant loadings for specific watersheds or outfalls. As part of this effort, Sarasota County had pollution modeling estimates performed for each of the County's basins, for 16 different pollutants. This modeling is a useful tool in watershed management to estimate sources and trends of pollution.
    Learn more about the modeling tool, SIMPLE-Monthly »
    Review the Pollution Loading Estimate Report »

The Polk County Parks & Natural Resources Division Water Resources Section manages the water quality monitoring efforts for the county. These efforts include stream and lake water quality monitoring. Our ambient monitoring program staff collects quarterly samples at 109 public access lakes and 26 stream sites. Samples are analyzed for wet chemistry, metals, nutrients, and bacteria.

Learn more about general MS4 monitoring objectives and approaches.