Water Quality

Retention/Percolation Area Invention

CHANGING THE LEGISLATIVE PARADIGM (or KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid)


PROBLEM

The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) was the agency which, from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, handled regulation, management, conservation, compliance and enforcement of a wide range of environmental and natural resource activities in the state of Florida, United States. It performed a regulatory role, relying on air and water quality standards and waste management regulations. It was specifically tasked with the goals of: ·        keeping Florida’s waters clean ·        keeping Florida’s air clear of pollutants ·        keeping Florida’s land free from contamination


In the 1950’s and 1960’s the water quality in the Bay area was starting to degrade. The Department of Health made up requirements for cleaning up sewage from homes, including septic systems required in lieu of direct discharge. This improved the water quality, but it still was getting bad. Scuba diving in Tampa Bay was impossible, visibility was nonexistent. I put in one time near Oldsmar. After a 15 minute swim (seeing nothing and getting stung by jellyfish) I struggled out and walked a half mile around a small bay back to where I started. I could not go back the way I came across the water, it was too nasty.

 The second source of pollution in our bays was rainwater runoff, at the time it was not restricted at all. Everything from oil being dumped into our storm sewers to fer