SECTION 5 ENVIRONMENTAL AND WATER QUALITY PROGRAMS

For more than two decades, Wellington has implemented programs designed to reduce the discharge of total phosphorus into lakes and canals, particularly in Basin B. Generally, Basin B is characterized by agricultural uses, equestrian farms, nurseries, and large-lot residential estates. Historically, Basin B discharged storm water runoff directly into the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge via two Acme storm water pump stations (PS#1 and PS#2). This discharge contained total phosphorus concentrations significantly higher than those identified as acceptable within the Everglades Forever Act. As a result of the cooperative efforts of the SFWMD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Wellington eliminated direct storm water discharges to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and directed Basin B storm water runoff north into Basin A for subsequent discharge to the C-51 West Canal. To complete the project, additional pump stations were added along the C-51 West Canal, drainage pipes were installed along the Basin A and B divide (Pierson Road), and structures were installed to maintain control elevations in both basins.

Reuse Water

Wellington has implemented a water reuse program, initiated with the irrigation of Village Park using reuse water from the contiguous WWTP and an in-ground storage pond. Extension of the reuse irrigation water to community landscaping and Forest Hill Blvd.

Best Management Practices

In the on-going effort to further improve the quality of storm water discharges, a team of Wellington and Acme representatives established a set of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the community to follow. The implementation of these BMPs was a component of the immediate and long-term strategies for bringing Wellington/Acme into compliance with the Everglades Forever Act. The District’s BMPs are outlined in Ordinance No. 2000-18 which took effect October 1, 2000 and in Ordinance 2012-12. Wellington adopted additional BMPs by Ordinance 2010-14 which includes several additional operational areas including fertilizers, system maintenance program, and livestock waste storage and disposal.

Fertilizers

Wellington’s Ordinance No. 2004-34 Sec. 30-154 BMPs for the Application and Storage of Fertilizer states that:

  • Fertilizers containing excess of 2 percent phosphate/phosphorus per guaranteed analysis label shall not be applied to turf grass, pastures, paddocks, or be used in nurseries unless justified by a soil test
  • Fertilizers in excess of 2 percent phosphate/phosphorus shall not be applied within five feet of the edge of water or within 5 feet of a drainage facility
  • Liquid fertilizers in excess of 2 percent phosphate/phosphorus shall not be applied through an irrigation system within 10 feet of the edge of water or drainage facility

Licensed Wellington Code Compliance Officers are responsible for inspections of fertilizer storage areas to ensure compliance with the Code of Ordinances. Wellington has also developed a Public Education Campaign to educate residents on the proper types, storage, use and application of fertilizers. Wellington will continue to address “hot spots” throughout the basins in an effort to identify sources and will continue to develop targeted strategies to reduce site-specific total phosphorus loads.

System Maintenance Programs

Wellington has implemented a number of maintenance programs to capture and remove sediments, debris and vegetation before and after it enters Acme’s surface water management system. The program includes:

  • Street sweeping 38.3 miles of roadway
  • Litter pick-up and disposal
  • Catch basin and culvert cleaning
  • Aquatic vegetation harvesting
  • Canal cleaning
  • Sediment removal at 7 sediment sump locations
  • Automated pump station debris removal systems

n 2015, Wellington collected and properly disposed of 3,560 cubic yards of material, which is estimated to have eliminated approximately 2,000 pounds of phosphorus that would otherwise have entered the surface water management system and downstream receiving waters.

Livestock Waste Storage and Disposal

Wellington Land Development Code Sec. 30-153 provides minimum standards for the storage and disposal of livestock waste. Specifically, each livestock facility shall have an approved waste storage area. The storage areas are required to have an impermeable floor with sidewalls on three sides. The size of the storage area is also proportioned to the number of livestock served by the storage area. If roll-off or dumpster containers are approved, they must be placed on a concrete or asphalt pad with a lip around it to contain seepage/leakage.

Waste storage areas must be located at least 5 feet away from any roof overhang, 50 feet from any public drainage conveyance or drainage inlet, at least 100 feet from any water body, and at least 150 feet from a potable water supply well. In addition, this section of the Village code contains standards for the maintenance of the storage area, spreading/composting, and for the hauling of livestock waste.

Water Quality Report

The Wellington laboratory prepares an annual water quality report which presents results of water quality sampling data as collected from sites throughout Wellington. The period of record for this data collection begins in 1999 and currently goes through June 2015. Total phosphorus (TP) is measured and is used to gauge effectiveness of implemented BMPs. Wellington has also entered into an agreement with the SFWMD to conduct an extensive storm water quality monitoring program to help pinpoint areas that are of particularly high phosphorus concentrations (Exhibit 5H).