Water-Related News

Tavares leads way with new, innovative stormwater project

Plans for a $5.5 million stormwater and beautification project for Ruby Street were unveiled Monday, and it was hailed for giving Tavares a leading edge.

“There are a lot of people watching to see how we are doing this,” said Brad Hayes, Tavares utility department director.

He said state officials in Tallahassee are interested too.

“This is a new, innovative way that really hasn’t been done in the stormwater industry before,” he said. “It’s what we utilize in the wastewater industry to clean up the wastewater. So, we are taking a wastewater process and we are putting it into a stormwater setting.”

The project is designed to improve and protect the water quality of Lake Dora, which has been designated as an impaired lake by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We’re not going to get the lake as clean as we would like to have it because there are so many other communities around this lake, but we are going to do our fair share and our portion,” Hayes said.

Tavares aims to take the retention pond concept to a new level by creating an 8-acre walkable park with wooden bridges. The bridges would link together “ponds” containing floating flower mats, called “beemats," which attract bees and help remove pollutants from the water.