Water-Related News

Wolfbranch Sink Preserve Open House Dec. 14th

Come join the Lake County Water Authority for hike on a “sweet” piece of property in Mount Dora.

The 154-acre Wolfbranch Sink Preserve is famous for its seasonal waterfall and active sinkhole.

Because it is not open to the public on a regular basis due to its environmental sensitivity you will truly get an experience.

Come join LCWQ for a unique self-guided hike from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. For more information, please call 352-324-6141 ex. 0. No reservations required.

WOLFBRANCH SINK PRESERVE – DATE: DECEMBER 14, 2019 – TIME: 9:00 AM TO 2:00 PM

Photo of Lake Harris to grace cover of 2020 Adopt-a-Lake calendar

TAVARES – The public cast more than 2,000 votes in an online contest, choosing the top 14 photos to be featured in Lake County’s 2020 Adopt-a-Lake Calendar. The top-scoring photograph of Lake Harris submitted by C Kay Johnson is featured on the calendar’s front cover.

The runner-up photos are included in a special section on the back of the calendar. Participants submitted more than 500 photos of Lake County waterbodies in the increasingly popular Adopt-a-Lake photo contest. A committee narrowed those down to 39, that were then placed in an online gallery for voting.

The Adopt-a-Lake calendars are available for a suggested donation of $5 at the Lake County Water Lab, 12923 County Landfill Road, and the Solid Waste Administration Office, 13130 County Landfill Road. Calendars may also be ordered by mailing a check to: Adopt-a-Lake Program, P.O. Box 7800, Tavares, FL 32778. If requesting a calendar by mail, an additional $1 should be included for postage and handling.

The Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program encourages local civic organizations, individuals, fraternal and business groups to adopt a segment of a lake’s shoreline. The program is comprised of three separate components: Water-quality monitoring, public education and pollution prevention. Volunteers can select which aspects of the program best fit their level of interest.

For more information about the calendar or the Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program, contact Cathie Catasus at 352-253-1659 or ccatasus@lakecountyfl.gov.

Household hazardous waste collection event Dec. 12th in Mount Dora

MOUNT DORA – Lake County Solid Waste is encouraging Lake County residents to dispose of unwanted household hazardous materials in a safe and environmentally conscious way at a collection event to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Walmart parking lot, located at 17030 U.S. Highway 441 in Mount Dora.

Staff will offer convenient drive-thru disposal to Lake County residents only, and will be on-hand to collect small quantities of waste products such as lawn and gardening materials, photo and swimming pool chemicals, paint and related products, cleaning solutions, motor oil and gas, batteries, fluorescent lamps, light bulbs and small propane tanks. Materials such as infectious waste, solvents, chemical laboratory waste and radioactive waste are prohibited.

Excessive amounts of hazardous materials will not be accepted due to limited space in the mobile unit. If residents have large quantities of items to dispose of, a drop-off can be scheduled at the Central Solid Waste Facility, 13130 County Landfill Road, Tavares, by calling 352-343-3776.

For more information about this event, or to find out about future collection events, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/hazardouswaste or call Lake County Solid Waste at 352-343-3776.

Non-native fish are found throughout Florida’s freshwaters

Usually, when there’s news about escapees from medical research facilities, freshwater fish are not the obvious fugitives.

But that was the case with the pike killifish when researchers released about 50 of the fish into agricultural canals in the late 1950s.

Now, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has identified up to 22 non-native fish in Florida's fresh waters.

The agency in May added new rules that will "help proactively protect Florida from invasive species becoming established in the state," according to a news release.

While no freshwater fish made the list this year, the agency is "currently examining fish that are on the federal Lacey Act but not regulated by the state to see if they pose a risk to the state," a spokesperson wrote in an email.

The act, established in 1900, bans illegal wildlife trafficking in the U.S.

The state is a hotbed for the tropical freshwater fish trade. The subtropical climate is optimal for raising hundreds of varieties of nonnative fish, and sometimes those fish establish populations in state waterways.

Toilet-to-tap proposal sent back to Florida House for reconsideration

Florida is known for its freshwater springs, yet a House bill would bring water of a different type to taps.

HB 715, filed Tuesday [Nov. 19] by Zephyrhills Rep. Randy Maggard, creates statute for “water recycling for public water supply.”

The bill would compel the Department of Environmental Protection, with technical working groups, to adopt specified rules for using reclaimed water, contemplated as a statewide source for potable water.

“Developing water sources as an alternative to continued reliance on the Floridan Aquifer and surface waters will benefit existing and future water users and natural systems within the state,” the bill contends.

Given that half of “reclaimed water” is used efficiently, Maggard’s bill sees room for and necessity for improvement given Florida’s “current and future water needs.”

“Water recycling projects require significantly more planning and financial investment than nonpotable water supply projects and these projects need incentives to be implemented,” the bill asserts.

What incentives those are remain to be determined.

Clean Water Act: Economic analysis could undermine Trump rule repeal

When the Trump administration finalized its repeal of the Obama-era Clean Water Rule last month, it also quietly updated an economic analysis of the repeal's costs and benefits.

The 195-page final analysis is nearly 10 times longer than the one that accompanied the Trump administration's initial proposal in 2017 to repeal the rule and estimates different costs and benefits of repealing the regulation, which clarified which wetlands and waterways are protected by the Clean Water Act.

The updated analysis — which the public did not have the chance to comment on — could leave the repeal vulnerable to legal challenges, experts say.

"The agencies aren't required to do an economic analysis, but once they decide to do it, courts typically want them to do it right," Vermont Law School professor Pat Parenteau said. "If there are flaws in the analysis, and if the public hasn't had a chance to see it, that could fit into the box of arbitrary and capricious."

Already, a coalition of environmental groups have cited the new analysis in their legal challenge to the repeal filed last week.