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

Water-Related News

Seminole County contractor performing sewer line ‘smoke tests’

Sewer line smoke tests will be conducted Apr.19–May 7th, weather permitting

How the Test Works
The test consists of forcing safe, vegetable-oil-derived smoke into the sewer lines and observing where it escapes in order to determine the location of leaks and defects. Odorless and safe, the smoke leaves no residuals or stains and has no adverse effect on people, plants or animals. The test generally last about 10 minutes from start to finish.

You do not need to be home during the testing, which will take about 15 minutes.

Why This Test is Commonly Used
This routine, preventative maintenance test will help identify leaks, defects and stormwater inflows in the sewer system, thereby improving wastewater treatment operations and efficiency.

What to Expect
If you just received this door hanger you should expect to see a smoke test crew in your area in the next few days. While smoke can be expected to be visible coming out of manhole covers and vent stacks in roofs, it should not enter homes. To reduce the likelihood of smoke entering a building, the City recommends that you pour 2-3 gallons of water into seldom-used sinks and floor drains, where the smoke could arise due to lack of water pressure. This may be done at any time prior to the test.

If Problems are Found
The City may notify you upon completion of the project if there are any problems found on your property.

Special Requests
While smoke testing is safe, residents with heart or respiratory conditions may contact USSI at 1-888-645-9570 or 941-926-2646 between the hours of 9am to 4pm to inquire about testing schedules and have a call ahead placed, only if needed.

Work is being performed by USSI LLC with assistance from City Utility crews in easily recognizable uniforms.

For ESL and more information and videos that pertain to smoke testing please visit

Seminole utility and others water down rule that would protect Floridan Aquifer

It took years for Florida leaders to craft a sophisticated and deeply considered plan to protect the fragile Floridan Aquifer for the benefit of both cities and the state’s watery environment.

But the region’s water utilities recently declared legal war on the plan as too restrictive on their future opportunity to drill into the aquifer as the cheapest source of water for population growth. Utilities are now at the cusp of victory.

On Tuesday, Seminole County as one of the region’s largest water suppliers agreed to an offer by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to rewrite its Floridan Aquifer plan to settle a legal backlash from utilities.

UF scientists to probe downstream ecological impacts of stormwater ponds

GAINESVILLE — Florida teems with rain. Depending on where you live, you might get 40 to 60 inches annually. That rain must go somewhere. Enter Florida’s 76,000 stormwater ponds. When it rains, the water runs off the land, bringing chemicals, grass clippings, lawn debris and more from the landscape into these ponds.

Yet little to no research analyzes downstream ecological impacts from those ponds. Stormwater ponds were originally designed to reduce downstream flooding and are expected to provide water quality benefits by preventing things like sediments or nutrients from entering natural water bodies.

Although ponds do help water quality, research has shown that ponds aren’t as good at removing nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen as they were originally designed. Nutrients not removed by the ponds might go from the stormwater pond – which collects the rain and debris – to nearby bodies of water.

A University of Florida scientist will embark on a study this summer, using Manatee County as his lab. But his results will apply to much of Florida, including Tampa Bay and Biscayne Bay.