THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER QUALITY
The water quality in the Indian River Lagoon is a critical component when considering its overall health. The IRL is a valuable asset to Florida’s economy, and if the quality of the lagoon becomes degraded, this asset will lose its value. Maintaining water quality is important not only to the lagoon’s ecosystem but also to protect public health. Poor water quality affects the diverse habitats in the lagoon, which in turn, affects the economy by degrading the commercial and recreational value of our water resources.
WATER QUALITY IS ESSENTIAL TO HUMAN LIFE AND THE HEALTH OF THE ENVIRONMENT
A healthy environment is one in which the water quality supports a rich and varied community of organisms and protects public health.
WHAT AFFECTS WATER QUALITY?
In particular, non-source point pollution from community uses such as agriculture, urban and industrial use, and recreation finds its way into the lagoon
Stormwater carries excess nutrients, sediments and other pollutants into stormdrains and canals, which drain unfiltered into the lagoon
While a form of pollution, water releases and basin discharges are a huge concern that stem from issues such as water treatment and manufacturing
Weather can have a major impact on water quality due to extreme weather conditions applying additional stress to the ecosystem
A NOTE ABOUT STORMWATER
Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas. When rain falls on our roofs, driveways, roads and parking lots, it’s not able to soak into the ground as it would in a natural area. Instead it enters storm drains, ditches and canals, where it drains, untreated, into nearby water bodies like the IRL. Stormwater runoff is a problem because it carries excess fertilizers, household chemicals, dirt, trash, plants, pet waste, heavy metals, and other pollutants. When these materials are released into coastal waters, they cause muck deposits and fuel algae blooms and fish kills.
MONITORING WATER QUALITY
Water quality monitoring is important for generating real-time data to influence actionable steps that will push the needle to improve the quality of the water in the lagoon. The data can be used to develop management programs, action plans, and to continually improve our understanding of the lagoon to allow us to make educated decisions for moving forward. You can view real-time water quality data of the lagoon below.