A Natural Approach

by Jeff L. Brown, Contributing Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 7, Pg. 44-51

Document Type: Feature article


Before the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan began, the Florida legislature established the Everglades Construction Project (ECP), a $708-million, 10-year program now being implemented by the South Florida Water Management District to improve the quality of the water flowing into the Everglades. The ECP includes a dozen construction projects, including pump stations and a system of canal and levee improvements, but centers on six storm-water treatment areas, or STAs, comprising 41,658 acres (16,859 ha) of constructed wetlands. The STAs are intended to lower concentrations of nutrients, especially phosphorus, in the runoff from the primarily agricultural area between Lake Okeechobee and the northernmost part of the Everglades. The ECP began with a $14-million prototype called Everglades Nutrient Removal Project. Four STAs are now operational, with the last two to be constructed by the end of 2003. Outflows from the STAs are required to meet an interim phosphorus target of 50 ppb, with a final standard, possibly as low as 10 ppb, to be determined later. Results from the existing STAs have exceeded expectations, with some discharges consistently achieving concentrations lower than 25 ppb.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Water management | Pumping stations | Project management | Phosphorus | Nutrient pollution | Construction management

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