First Phoslock Application to Public Waters in Florida a Success
Similar to many other lakes in Florida and around the United States, Pine Lake has been plagued by eutrophication caused by excessive phosphorus accumulation. Listed as phosphorus impaired by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Pine Lake required mitigation restore water quality.
In January 2013, Palm Beach County obtained approvals allowing AMEC engineers and SePRO Corporation to conduct the first application of the phosphorus locking technology Phoslock to a public waterbody in Florida. Monthly pre- and post-application water quality monitoring was conducted by the County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management for one year prior to and one year following the application, in both the treated lake and an untreated control lake. A BACI (before-after, control-impact) statistical design was used to compare levels of phosphorus and other water quality parameters in the two lakes. Rainfall and stormwater runoff were unusually high throughout the project area during the 2013 rainy season, affecting water quality in both lakes. Despite the unusual hydrologic conditions, the Phoslock provided a statistically significant reduction in total phosphorus concentration in Pine Lake and a statistically significant treatment effect relative to the untreated control lake. The Palm Beach County water quality monitoring program is continuing in both lakes, and will provide a long-term record of the magnitude and duration of treatment effects.
Phoslock has been used extensively internationally for more than a decade. The Pine Lake project adds to the growing body of experience with Phoslock within the United States and further demonstrates the ability of this technology restore water quality in phosphorus polluted ponds and lakes.