SFWMD to increase its monitoring of our water quality in 2020

None of us like the idea of having green gunk in our backyards. Right now, plans are underway for the South Florida Water Management District to increase its monitoring of our water quality.

Back in August, WINK News told you about the SFWMD’s plans to expand water quality monitoring.

Chauncey Goss, the chairman of the SFWMD governing board, said it is going from 161 monitoring sites to 243 across Lake Okeechobee and northern Everglades watersheds.

“I do know we’re putting in 15 in the Caloosahatchee watershed,” Goss said. “And those 15 are going in on Thursday.”

The sites will test for qualities like temperatures, dissolved oxygen and nutrients, which can fuel blue-green algae blooms.

“Then we can start to tackle some of those point sources and non-point sources to figure out how best to get rid of the nutrients,” Goss said, “which will then starve the algae.”

Dr. Mike Parsons, a professor at The Water School at Florida Gulf Coast University, said we need more data to understand water conditions.

“Because when something blooms,” Parsons said, “it means that not only does it really like the conditions but it can out-compete everything else and then it dominates.”

“The easy part is to find out, okay, this is where it’s coming from,” Goss said.

The next question is why it is happening.

The SFWMD said with the expansion, it will monitor about 5.5 million acres of watersheds, including monitoring stations north of Lake Okeechobee.

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