The Top 3 Causes of Impairment to Florida Waters are:
#1 – Nutrients. Phosphorus and Nitrogen primarily from fertilizer and decaying vegetation.
#2 – Dissolved Oxygen. The excess nutrients in Florida Waters cause algae to grow and blossom which reduce dissolved oxygen, limiting the growth of underwater plants and animals.
#3 – Bacteria. Fecal bacteria occur only in animal waste – pets and humans.
These pollutants get into Boca Ciega Bay when rain (or even irrigation water) flows over land (yards, parking lots and streets) and is captured by street inlets or grates. If there are pollutants on the land, they are washed into Boca Ciega Bay with the stormwater.
The City of St. Pete Beach Public Works Department is responsible for keeping stormwater runoff as clean as possible before it reaches the Bay. City staff is trained to properly apply pesticides and fertilizer within City parks. Certain staff maintains current certifications to inspect construction sites and make sure that proper equipment is used to keep pollutants from getting into stormwater runoff. Each year, staff attends a refresher course for recognizing illicit discharges and how to minimize impacts to the stormwater system.
What is an illicit discharge? It is anything other than water that flows into a stormwater collection inlet. Illicit discharge includes oil, paint, grease, gasoline, grass clippings, pet waste and paper. If you see anyone dumping in the storm drain, please call the City’s Public Works Department at 727-363-9243 (Weekends call 727-224-4189).
Information courtesy of the City of St. Pete Beach
REMEMBER ONLY RAIN IN THE DRAIN!
For more information, visit the following websites: http://www.stpetebeach.org/city-department/public-services/stormwater.html http://www.pinellascounty.org/environment/watershed/stormwater.htm http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/stormwater/npdes/