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controlling the waters

| EAA | STAs | WCAs | Control Structures |

Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs)

map showing EAA, STA and WCA locations
Map showing location of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), and Water Conservation Areas (WCA).
Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) are man-made wetlands designed to remove excess nutrients from the water
. To address phosphorus levels in "downstream" waters of the Everglades, the Everglades Forever Act (1994) mandated the construction of STAs. As a result, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) was directed to construct STAs downstream from the primary canals of the Everglades Agricultural Area in order to filter nutrients from runoff, before the waters enter the Water Conservation Areas and the Everglades.

photo of tower
This tower monitors atmospheric mercury (Hg).
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The District's Everglades Nutrient Removal (ENR) Project, a constructed wetland completed in 1993, served as a prototype for the STAs. It later became part of Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West (STA-1W).

Come along with us as we visit STA-1W, located above the northwest corner of Water Conservation Area 1, and learn how the runoff waters are directed and cleaned.

A photo gallery is available for this page. [Photos taken April, 2000]

Stormwater Treatment Area 1W (STA-1W)
photo of inflow pumping station
Looking northeast, at an inflow pumping station located near the northeast corner of Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) 1 West.
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photo of test cell in STA 1-W
Looking down at a test cell (fenced-in area at the center of the image) located within Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West.
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The pumping station in the photo to the left pumps agricultural runoff water into the STA. The water is directed through the man-made wetlands, which is divided into 4 cells by interior levees.

In the first 2 northern cells, phosphorus is initially removed from the waters. It is then directed to 2 smaller "polishing" cells for secondary treatment. Phosphorus is removed from the waters as it is deposited into the sediments or taken up by algae and plants. After waters have been cleaned, they are pumped into Water Conservation Area 1, also known as the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.

Test cells are used for a number of controlled experiments, which allow scientists to test various nutrient removal technologies.

photo of landscape
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photo of landscape
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Looking north from an observation tower, at the land and waters of Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West.

Slider turtle
photo of slider turtle
A cute (but shy!) slider turtle.
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Slider turtles are found throughout Florida. Florida sliders can grow to lengths of 8 inches. They eat both plants and animals, eating mostly plants as they grow older. Sliders are often found in fresh waters with soft bottoms and vegetation. Slider turtles can stay under water for several minutes before having to come up for air! They are often seen basking in the sun by day.

While it may look like a flowering plant, Chara is actually a branched algae. Chara is commonly referred to as muskgrass because of its pungent odor. It usually grows in thick beds off the bottoms of ponds, lakes, rivers and ditches. photo of a long branch of Chara
A long branch of Chara. [larger image]

Ramshorn snails
Ramshorn snails are freshwater snails found within the Everglades. Ramshorn snails are found in areas that are flooded for much of the year, however they can also be found in areas with shorter hydroperiods.
photo of ramshorn snail lying on top of Chara
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photo of ramshorn snails on top of Chara
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Ramshorn snails sitting atop a dense blanket of Chara (common name muskgrass) found within the waters of Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West.

Related SOFIA Information

Below we have listed science projects and publications for studies that are being conducted, or have been conducted, in the vicinity of the Stormwater Treatment Areas. Follow these links to read about each project and to see project-related publications and data.

Science Projects:

Related Publications:



U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Geology
This page is: http://sofia.usgs.gov /virtual_tour/controlling/sta.html
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Heather Henkel - Webmaster (hhenkel@usgs.gov)
Last updated: January 15, 2013 @ 12:44 PM (HSH)