Last week, the Spring Lake Improvement District (SLID) broke ground on a new project that will clean up water before it flows to Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. This innovative project will store and treat stormwater from their property before it enters Arbuckle Creek, on its way to Lake Istokpoga, and then on to Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades.
The ground-breaking was initiated by (left to right) Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell, Gene Schriner, project engineer, Brian Acker of SLID, Marty Mielke, Senator Grimsley’s office, Representative Cary Pigman, and Highlands County Commissioner Greg Harris.
Currently, polluted stormwater from Lake Wales Ridge, Sebring Regional Airport and U.S. 98 flows the residential areas around Spring Lake. The new project will capture this water and treat it in stormwater ponds before it flows on to Arbuckle Creek and areas throughout the Everglades. In addition to these water quality benefits, Spring Lake Improvement District plans to manage the area for wildlife viewing and enjoyment for its residents.
The 70-acre system is funded through a $416,000 legislative appropriation to the SLID with $625,000 of matching funds from a DEP grant. Sen. Denise Grimsley and Rep. Cary Pigman helped obtain legislative funding, with support from Audubon. This project is part of an admirable $4 million effort on the part of this small District to improve water management.
The Spring Lake Improvement District is an independent special district that provides services to Spring Lake, a community on the northern shore of Lake Istokpoga in Highlands County. The Spring Lake community was designed 50 years ago and has experienced stormwater runoff problems in recent years.
Audubon scientist Paul Gray has been following this project in its development and notes, “This project has the type of vision that helps meet stormwater goals for this community, by adding an amenity for its residents and protecting Arbuckle Creek and Lake Istokpoga, which are the natural beauty that attracted the development in the first place.”
Beautiful Arbuckle Creek will be a beneficiary of the Spring Lake project.
For more information on this project, please click here.