Oct 31, 2018

Sarasota, Fla., Installs Storm Water Filter to Combat Red Tide

The custom three-chamber storm water filter will address nutrients contributing to the red tide

Florida town installs storm water system to treat toxic red tide
Florida town installs storm water system to treat toxic red tide

Sarasota, Fla., has installed a three-chamber baffle box to filter storm water and limit nutrients that contribute to the red tide from reaching Sarasota Bay. The custom baffle box also is intended to protect the boat basin, which was hydrologically dredged of approximately 20,000 tons of silt this year.

The custom filtration system is placed beneath 10th Street near the Centennial Park and Boat Ramp, as reported by The Herald Tribune. At 24-ft long, 18-ft wide and 17-ft deep, the system is expected to reduce storm water contamination significantly.

“It has huge potential for outfalls up and down the coast,” said Sarasota Senior Utilities Engineer William Nichols. “By design, we needed to remove 2,000 lb of sediment out of the storm water system each year. We think we will exceed that.”

At a recent cleaning of the system, bottles, organic matter, sediment and even two tires were removed, leading the city to raise yearly collection estimates from 36 tons to 50 tons of waste annually.

“A lot of folks don’t realize how directly connected to our ecosystem and bay these storm drains are,” said Sarasota Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes. “They are a direct straw to our bay. Everything that is going down there is going to impact our bay.”