Kissimmee, Fla., park sheds light on solution
Kissimmee Lake Front Park is a focal point of local community activities—it is considered “Kissimmee Central.” It has recently undergone revitalization, which includes everything from new facilities, buildings and paved surfaces, as well as a variety of storm water treatment technologies. To the west of the park is the downtown district of the City of Kissimmee, and to the east of the park lies East Lake Tohopekaliga. In addition to serving the needs of the local community, travelers from across the nation and around the world visit the park as well because of its relatively close proximity to Walt Disney World.
The size of Kissimmee Lake Front Park is approximately 25 acres, and it acts as a treatment buffer between the downtown area of Kissimmee and East Lake Tohopekaliga, which is known for its bass fishing and bird wildlife.
Within the park and retrofitted to an existing 42-in. pipe that drains water from the downtown Kissimmee is a Suntree Technologies Nutrient Separating Baffle Box with an integrated SkimBoss filtration system. This treatment system incorporates multiple technologies for a form treatment train within a single treatment system. The treatment system can be divided into two separate treatment zones—a hydrodynamic separator for gross pollutant removal and a media filtration system designed to treat dissolved pollutants and polish the water flow. The gross pollutant removal zone will pre-treat the media filtration, which will give the media sustainability.
Adjacent to the inflow is a zone dedicated to gross pollutant removal that makes use of a proprietary specialized screen system and lower settling chambers. The screen system is especially unique in its ability to pass large flows with minimal head loss, even when completely full of debris. Screened lids on top of the screen system prevent previously captured floatables, such as leaves and litter, from escaping during peak flows. In addition, during peak flows, a water flow conveyance within the treatment system along each side of the screen system as well as overtop the screen system will exceed the conveyance of the inflow and outflow pipes by many times. The screen system has the ability to store captured floatables in a dry state between rain events. This is especially important when dealing with the pollutant load found within foliage. Treatment systems that that do not have the ability to store captured foliage in a dry state will, over a short period of time, leach these pollutants out into the water column. Later, when it rains again and the water in the treatment system is flushed out, the pollutant load will be flushed as well. This flushing of pollutants typically goes unnoticed because samplers are not active early in a rain event. Capturing and storing foliage in a dry state is the only way to positively retain this portion of the nutrient load.
In the lower settling chambers, captured solids such as ultra-fine sediments and their associated attached pollutants are removed and isolated from flow passing by above. A unique proprietary turbulence deflector system within the settling chambers aids to calm the water and enable ultra-fine particles to settle without the chance for re-suspension. Typically, these settling chambers will fill with thousands of pounds of debris.
Adjacent to the outflow end of the treatment system is the SkimBoss filtration system. This is a proprietary media up-flow filtration system that uses hydro-variant technology to optimize treatment, along with the capability to pass the largest flows. Hydro-variant technology is a method of bringing media filtration in line with flows without the typical head loss associated with media filtration. The type of media used in the up-flow filters is Bold and Gold (B&G), which was developed by the University of Central Florida (UCF) storm water academy and is famously effective for removing phosphorus, nitrogen and TSS from water flow. An exceptional feature of B&G is that it is inexpensive and does not require frequent replacing—simply hose it off and use it again. The effective life span for B&G before it needs to be replace could be as long as 20 years.
UCF monitored the Lake Front Park treatment system to determine its effectiveness for TSS, total phosphorus and total nitrogen. The flow rates were measured, the water entering the treatment system was sampled, the water entering the SkimBoss filtration system was sampled and the water leaving the treatment system was sampled. The removal efficiency data was then mathematically extrapolated to determine an annual average removal efficiency shown below, taking into consideration high flow rates when the media treatment is bypassed.
As an outreach component to the project, a Suntree observation lid was incorporated into the vault system. The observation lid is an attractive large vault cover that enables the general public to look inside the treatment system to view the specialized components. In a busy park setting such as Lake Front Park, a continuous flow of visitors are educated on the importance of clean storm water runoff. By creating community awareness on the issues of storm water pollution, future funding for additional measures of storm water treatment are supported by the community.
The outstanding job done by the City of Kissimmee with the design and implementation of Kissimmee’s Lake Front Park and its associated BMPs won Kissimmee the Florida Stormwater Association’s Outstanding Treatment and Public Education award for 2014.