Water-Related News

Firm to study Polk lakes classified as polluted

By Tom Palmer

BARTOW – A contract approved Tuesday should give Polk County officials a better idea of the condition of 19 lakes the state has classified polluted.

The County Commission approved a $138,450 contract with Atkins North America at its Tuesday morning meeting. It is the first consultant contract funded by the stormwater tax, which was approved last year to fund projects needed to comply with state and federal pollution regulations.

Jeff Spence, Polk's director of parks and natural resources, said preliminary work indicates some of the lakes are "borderline," which means they don't exceed state pollution standards yet, but could unless measures are taken to reduce the amount of pollution flowing into them.

He said the recommendation to conduct the study came from the county's Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee, which was appointed last year by the commission to provide advice on the best way to spend the proceeds from the tax.