Water-Related News

Lakeland awarded SWFWMD grant for Crystal Lake water quality improvement study

$100K Grant to Help Improve Water Quality in Crystal Lake

The City of Lakeland has been awarded a grant of $100,000 from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) as part of its annual Cooperative Funding Initiative (CFI) grant program for the Crystal Lake Water Quality Improvement Study. The CFI program provides funding to local governments to cover up to 50% of costs for water quality improvement and flood control projects. The project consists of a feasibility study to evaluate nutrient reduction sediment treatment options to improve water quality in Crystal Lake.

Laurie Smith, Manager of Lakes & Stormwater said, “The funding the City has received for this feasibility study will enable us to scientifically evaluate innovative restoration methodologies and ensure the right solution is selected to improve surface water quality in Crystal Lake. The results of the feasibility study will also be used to evaluate restoration actions in other similar City lakes.”

Crystal Lake does not meet current water quality standards and has a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) mandated nutrient reduction plan. A previous study showed that sediment cycling contributes to over 90 percent of the lake's phosphorus load. The feasibility study will evaluate options to reduce the phosphorus flux from the sediments to improve water quality.

The Crystal Lake Water Quality Improvement Project includes the installation of limnocorrals (large tubes suspended in the water column) that will be used for mesocosm studies within the lake for the evaluation of nutrient reduction treatment technologies. Surface water and sediment quality will be monitored pre and post-application and analyzed to evaluate the selected treatment technologies' performance and cost-efficiency. The results of the analysis will be used to identify which of the tested treatment technologies will be selected for a full-scale water quality restoration project to address sediment and surface water quality in the lake.

The City of Lakeland will continue to work with SWFWMD for additional funding of sediment and surface water quality restoration activities.