City of Tavares focuses on protecting Lake Dora
Using the methodology to identify and verify water quality impairments described in Chapter 62-303, Florida Administrative Code, (Identification of Impaired Surface Waters or IWR), Lake Dora was included on the verified list of impaired waters for the Ocklawaha Basin that was adopted by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Secretarial Order in 2002. Pollutants and nutrient loads exceeded acceptable standards as monitored by FDEP.
The main source of impairment for Lake Dora has been runoff from Lake Apopka via Lakes Beauclair and Carlton. Further, Lake Dora feeds into Lake Eustis through the Dora Canal, thus spreading further impairment through Lake County’s precious chain of lakes.
In response to this impairment, the Lake County Water Authority’s Nutrient Reduction Facility (NuRF) became operational in 2009. While the NuRF facility has been instrumental in reducing nitrogen, phosphorous and other pollutants from Lake Dora, the City of Tavares decided that further mitigation was needed.
In addition, the City of Tavares also needed to alleviate another ongoing issue: local city streets would continually flood during heavy rains. Since the runoff from these rainfalls was not being directed into a treatment facility and “cleaned”, this continual runoff was making its way into Lake Dora and adding to the pollutant problem. In 2008, Tavares commissioned a stormwater study of the downtown area funded by the Lake County Water Authority and conducted by Griffey Engineering.