Unique Altamonte Springs water project aimed at protecting Wekiva River from pollution
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS – In a first-of-its-kind effort, the city plans to collect rainwater that falls on the busy highway, treat it to remove the oil, gasoline and other gunk, and then pipe it to residents and businesses to irrigate their landscapes.
The $13-million project, known as A-FIRST, is aimed at reducing the amount of pollutants and harmful nutrients — such as nitrogen and phosphorus — that flow into the Little Wekiva and Wekiva rivers and cause algae blooms, turning the river's blue water the color of pea soup.
"This a quality-of-life issue," Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz said. "Rainwater is abundant in Central Florida, so why not use it for irrigation and as an alternative water supply?….And the Little Wekiva and all of our other waterways are valuable to Florida, not only to those who live here, but also to those who come here."
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