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

Water-Related News

Seminole DOH issues Blue-green Algae Bloom Alert for Lake Dot

Florida DOH logo

SANFORD – The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins in Lake Dot in Sanford. This is in response to a water sample taken on May 19, 2022. The public should exercise caution in and around the lake where algal blooms are present. Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
  • Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.
  • Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.
  • Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.
  • Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

What is blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria that is common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors.

Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.

Is it harmful?

Blue-green algae blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.

For additional information on potential health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.

Find current information about Florida’s water quality status and public health notifications for harmful algal blooms and beach conditions by visiting

United Nations offers free online freshwater water quality courses

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a range of new water quality monitoring and assessment courses on its eLearning platform, ahead of World Water Day on 22 March.

These free, online self-paced courses by the UNEP GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre (CDC) at the Environmental Research Institute at the University College Cork (UCC) are designed to complement the existing capacity development activities around water quality.

The courses provide a flexible learning approach for anyone interested in water quality or those who simply wish to know more about a particular aspect of managing and monitoring water quality without incurring the cost of a university-accredited course.

Current courses on offer include ‘An Introduction to Freshwater Quality Monitoring Programme Design’, ‘Quality Assurance for Freshwater Quality Monitoring’, ‘Water Quality Monitoring in Rivers and Lakes’ and ‘Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment of Groundwater,’ with further courses planned for release in 2022.

A range of other water quality monitoring and assessment offerings are available at the UNEP GEMS/Water CDC at UCC, including a university-accredited and certified online postgraduate diploma (PGDip), MSc, and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses.

See the UNEP GEMS/Water CDC webpage for further details.

Seminole County DOH extends blue-green algae bloom alert for Lake Jesup

Florida DOH logo

SANFORD – The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County has extended the Health Alert previously issued for Lake Jesup. The alert is in response to a water sample taken on May 11, 2022 and will be extended until June 10, 2022. The public should exercise caution in and around Lake Jesup where algal blooms are present. Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
  • Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.
  • Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.
  • Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.
  • Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

What is blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria that is common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors.

Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.

Is it harmful?

Blue-green algae blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.

For additional information on potential health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.

Seminole County DOH issues blue-green algae bloom alert for Lake Kathryn

Florida DOH logo

SANFORD – On May 12, 2022, he Florida Department of Health in Seminole County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins in Lake Kathryn. This is in response to a water sample taken on May 5, 2022. The public should exercise caution in and around the lake where algal blooms are present. Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
  • Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.
  • Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.
  • Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.
  • Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

What is blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria that is common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors.

Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.

Is it harmful?

Blue-green algae blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.

For additional information on potential health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.

SJRWMD cost-share program provides support to regional projects

SJRWMD logo

PALATKA — The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board approved $20.5 million in funding for cost-share projects for fiscal year 2022–2023 as part of the Districtwide and Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and Innovative cost-share programs. These projects all support one or more of the District’s core missions: water supply, water quality, flood protection and natural systems.

Twenty-five projects were approved for funding, including 23 that directly support Gov. DeSantis’ Executive Order 19-12 “Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment” that focuses, in part, on reducing the flow of nutrients to waterways and developing alternative water supplies.

District cost-share funding for water resource protection and restoration projects helps local governments make progress in preserving, restoring and enhancing the Floridan aquifer system, which is where more than 90 percent of Florida’s drinking water comes from. Cost-share projects also benefit the St. Johns River, Indian River Lagoon and other waterways and Outstanding Florida Springs.

The Board also approved sending a list of five springs restoration projects benefitting Outstanding Florida Springs, including Silver and Volusia Blue, to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for funding consideration, along with 11 alternative water supply projects also to be evaluated for DEP funding.

Five of the funded projects are in Water Atlas-sponsored areas:

  1. Orange County Wekiwa Springs Septic Tank Retrofit Project - Phase 3
  2. Orange County Utilities Year 2 Water Conservation Through WWNP with Advanced Targeting
  3. Seminole County Toilet Rebate Program Phase 2
  4. Oak Hill 200 LLC Rosala West Water Conseravtion
  5. Mount Dora Wastewater Treatment Facility #1 Improvements

For information about District cost-share programs, visit www.sjrwmd.com/localgovernments/funding.

For a full list of projects, click here.

CFWI kicks off 2025 Regional Water Supply Planning effort

CFWI logo

The Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) Regional Water Supply Plan (RWSP) team held its first virtual meeting to kick off the 2025 planning effort, which was attended by nearly 70 CFWI team members and stakeholders.

The 2025 RWSP will identify existing and projected water needs as well as projects and funding sources to meet those needs over the next 20 years. The plan, which is a five-year update to the 2020 CFWI RWSP, is a collaborative effort between the St. Johns, Southwest and South Florida water management districts as well as various agencies, utilities and stakeholder groups. The CFWI Planning Area consists of all of Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Polk counties and southern Lake County, covering approximately 5,300 square miles.

“The RWSP is a collaborative effort, so it was great to see so many stakeholders participating in our first meeting,” said Claire Muirhead, Regional Water Supply Planning Coordinator for the St. Johns River Water Management District.

During the meeting RWSP team members reviewed a high-level schedule for developing the draft plan, which will be available for public review in early 2025. The final plan is scheduled to be approved by the governing boards of the three water management districts by the end of 2025.

RWSP team members also confirmed that the plan will incorporate the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) population projections. Draft projections are expected in Fall 2022 and final projections in 2023. Stakeholders will have opportunities to discuss the projections with the RWSP team once the projections are available.

The RWSP team will be holding meetings with stakeholders every two to three months and will begin meeting more frequently once the draft population projections are available. For more information on the RWSP effort, please contact the CFWI water management district contacts at cfwiwater.com/contacts.