Water-Related News

State mandates cleanup of 9 Lakeland lakes with major water quality issues

LAKELAND – Lakeland is known for its beautiful lakes, but the water quality has degraded in some of the most popular lakes and now the state is mandating these lakes get cleaned up.

“I think it is really peaceful out here. I definitely get in my little Zen when I come around,” said Madison Masters. “That's usually why I don’t wear headphones because I love the sound of the water.”

However, the water quality has significantly declined.

Lake Hollingsworth is one of nine Lakeland lakes that have reached the maximum level of pollutants allowed by state and federal law. This includes high levels of nutrients and stormwater, which lead to a reduction in water quality.

“A lot of people don’t realize that every time it rains, whatever is in the street, or on your lawn, or in a parking lot, gets picked up by the stormwater and enters our stormwater system, and that typically discharges into a lake with no treatment whatsoever,” said Laurie Smith, City of Lakeland Lakes and Stormwater Manager.

Smith said the Lakes and Stormwater Division is now working to reduce harmful pollutants from entering lakes by developing stormwater treatment facilities and other projects.