Protecting Surface Waters
Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) has been monitoring water quality in surface water throughout Alachua County since the 1970's. The current monitoring program includes quarterly sampling of over 20 sites for nutrients, fecal coliform bacteria, inorganic indicators, and flow.
Elevated nutrient concentrations are one of the main threats to the surface waters in our urban areas, and are likely caused by fertilizer run off from yards and effluent from septic systems.
High levels of fecal coliform bacteria are also a concern in the urban creeks. Fecal coliform are bacteria that originate in the digestive track of warm blooded animals and are an indicator of fecal pollution. Likely sources of fecal coliform include septic systems, sanitary sewer overflows, pet waste, illicit discharges, and wildlife. You can read more about our sampling results here.
ACEPD is currently involved with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (FDEP) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation for the Orange Creek Basin (OCB). There are nutrient TMDLs for Newnans Lake, Orange Lake, Lake Wauberg, and Alachua Sink on Paynes Prairie. There are Fecal Coliform TMDLs for Hogtown and Tumblin Creeks, and Sweetwater Branch. The stakeholders within the basin have developed a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) to address these water quality concerns. More information on TMDLs and the BMAP can be found here.
Discover Your Creeks and Lakes
Click for two-page fact sheets on nutrient concentration, flow, and other information about various waterbodies in Alachua County!
Newnan’s Lake Special Project
The Newnan’s Lake Improvement Initiative is a project focused on the reduction of current nutrient inputs to prevent further pollution to the waterbody.
Gainesville Clean Water Partnership
The Gainesville Clean Water Partnership was officially formed in 2001, when Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) signed an interlocal agreement for the joint implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Municipal Separate Stormwater Systems (MS4) program in the Gainesville urban area. Visit the site to learn about our urban creeks!