An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Casselberry neighborhood deals with flooding after multiple days of rain

SEMINOLE COUNTY – One Casselberry neighborhood dealt with substantial flooding following multiple days of substantial rain last week.

What You Need To Know:

  • Days of rain last week caused flooding in Casselberry's Summerloch Green neighborhood
  • Standing water was starting to recede Monday [Nov. 20]
  • A resident said the weir was blocked by debris

Casselberry's city manager said a crew went out to ensure the weir is open As of Monday morning, the area was still flooded, but some of the water that was formerly overflowing from the lake appeared to have receded.

While most parts of Central Florida dried out, the water in the Summerloch Green neighborhood rose last week.

The area is no stranger to flooding. In August, residents said they were waiting on a seawall construction to protect their homes.

Many Floridians with private wells don’t know how to take care of them

Approximately 12% of Florida’s population rely on a private well for drinking water, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

That’s about 2.5 million people. Bithlo resident Tara Turner, 50, is one of them.

After years of relying on wells for drinking water, Turner feels quite comfortable maintaining her own well today, which sets her apart from the estimated one-third of Florida well users who don’t know how to care for their wells properly, according to UF/IFAS research.

Dr. Yilin Zhuang, an environmental engineer at UF/IFAS focused on studying water resources, is working with her colleagues to expand Floridians' understanding of well safety, maintenance and testing. She leads public webinars, shares research findings, and is currently compiling resources for a website to help private well owners, which she expects to launch sometime next year.

Zhuang says ultimately, the burden falls on private well users — not a public utility — to ensure their water system is working safely and properly.

“When it comes to private well users, there are just not that many regulations,” Zhuang said. “So it all relies on private well users to manage their wells, and make sure their drinking water is safe to drink.”

Winter Springs commissioners propose water rate increase for infrastructure improvements

WINTER SPRINGS – Winter Springs City Commissioners are considering a proposal that would increase water rates not once, not twice, but six times.

The rate hike would impact thousands of Winter Springs residents.

If approved, the first rate increase would be at 18-percent beginning next year with future smaller increases until 2029.

The first of two public hearings on the proposal was scheduled for Thursday evening. Large crowds are expected to speak out about the proposal at each meeting, especially considering the city just recently increased its garbage collection rates.

City officials say they need the extra funds to fix some of their ailing water and sewer infrastructure.

“There’s a number of projects that we want to do, our wastewater treatment plants being the biggest of them,” Winter Springs Communications Officer Matt Reeser explained. “Meter replacement, line replacements...just maintenance altogether. We have to fund those.”

Seminole County leaders reveal plans to alleviate local flooding

SEMINOLE COUNTY – Seminole County leaders were not celebrating a new building or fancy road but rather a significant investment for the folks living along Retreat Road near Mullet Lake Park in Seminole County.

"Here we are today with a finished project that's going to result in many of these residents having easier access to their homes, taking the flooding away from the roads that you see out here," said Jay Zembower, Seminole County commissioner.

Zembower said the one point eight million dollar project won't handle another Hurricane Ian.

"This, of course, will not take care of a Hurricane Ian event, but it certainly will help these folks on smaller events, and in afternoon summer rain storms, we won't have the flooding that we've had here in the past," Zembower said.

Ian delayed the project three months because the work started a month before the hurricane caused that record flooding.

The pond is only part of the project. A significant part of it is improving the ditches along the road. They're broader and deeper, allowing the water to flow away from the pond and flow into the river.

It’s fall, ya’ll. Change those sprinklers to once a week!


Outdoor irrigation accounts for nearly half of most Floridians’ monthly water bill

PALATKA – Starting Sunday, Nov. 5, residents across the 18 counties of the St. Johns River Water Management District are urged to adjust their sprinkler systems and limit watering to no more than once a week.

As cooler weather sets in, your lawns and landscapes require far less water than during the summer months,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Mike Register. “By reducing irrigation, we not only protect our water resources, but homeowners also have the opportunity to see savings on their water bill.”

In the District’s region, public water supply claims the largest share of water usage, totaling approximately 569.5 million gallons daily. A significant portion of this is attributed to residential consumption. Implementing improved landscape irrigation practices conserves water, enhances the overall health of landscapes, and helps protect water quality at the same time.

Overwatering can lead to various issues, including the promotion of mold and fungus, weakened grass roots, and an increased presence of weeds and undesirable insects. Additionally, excess runoff from saturated yards often carries debris, nutrients and fertilizers into natural waterways, contributing to diminished water quality.

Given the decreased water requirements of lawns in Florida’s winter months, watering restrictions have been instituted to ensure that irrigation resources are utilized efficiently. During Eastern Standard Time (early November through mid-March), landscape irrigation is limited to one day per week, according to the following schedule:

  • Saturday for addresses ending in an odd number or those without an assigned address.
  • Sunday for addresses ending in an even number.
  • Tuesday for non-residential addresses.
  • No irrigation permitted between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Additional water-saving insights and resources can be found at For inspiring stories of water conservation efforts within the District, visit our Water Less Heroes series here.