Water-Related News

FDEP awards $1.6-million low-interest loan to Tavares for stormwater improvements

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has awarded more than $9 million in matching grants and low-interest loans for recent stormwater projects in four communities throughout the state to help protect the health of local water bodies. The state's Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) awarded $9 million in low-interest loans, and the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Water-Quality Restoration Grant awarded nearly $800,000 in matching grants. These funding programs provide assistance to Florida communities to reduce stormwater nutrient loads, continue stormwater treatment improvements and restore important wetlands.

Stormwater runoff is generated when rain flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not seep into the ground. As the runoff flows over paved streets, parking lots and building rooftops, it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the discharged runoff is left untreated and runs into nearby surface waters.

The City of Tavares was awarded a $1.6 million increase in March 2016 to an existing low-interest CWSRF loan, for a total loan amount of $1.9 million, to fund construction of downtown area stormwater treatment improvements. An existing wetland area will be converted into a stormwater pond, which will slow stormwater runoff and provide treatment before discharging into Lake Dora, designated a Florida Impaired Water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. An 8-acre walkable park will have wooden bridges linking ponds containing floating flower mats to attract bees and help remove pollutants from the water. Read more about the project »

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program (CWSRF) has awarded approximately $1.1 billion in funding for about 120 wastewater and stormwater improvement projects during the past five years for a total of $4 billion in loan funds since its inception in 1989. The program is funded by federal grants, state matching funds, loan repayments and interest earnings.

Since 2002, the department has awarded more than $110 million in TMDL grants, including $4.6 million awarded in fiscal year 2014-15 and $4.1 million awarded in fiscal year 2015-16 to date.