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Thread: Discharges

  1. #11
    Junior Member MonkeyBox Slider's Avatar
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  2. #12
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    Agreed to disagree..

    If the issue was truly stemming from septic tanks, then why don't we experience these issues year round? We use the bathroom year round and if they are leaking they would leak year round? Yet we only seem to have issues with high bacteria alerts and algae blooms like last year during time of high discharges? Is that an annual coincidence? I think not.

    Leaking septic tanks from Sewalls Point, do NOT make it into any canal to feed back into the lake. So how are they the cause of the problem?

    The blue/green algae was documented months ago when it was forming in the middle of lake O when it was seen covering miles of the lakes surface. At the same time there was NO documentation of it locally to the east at all.. I'm not saying it originated in the lake, but certainly when we send the water east and west, the lake is helping to distribute it to us.

    Anyway you want to spin it, discharges from the lake in a different direction than it was originally "long before man messed up the natural flow" intended are not good. Regardless if it brings the algae or bacteria or if it just allows the salinity to be reduced enough to allow the algae to grow. We need to quit messing with mother natures intentions and allow the water to flow south once again just like it was intended to do. This is like moving sand back onto the beaches, paying millions of dollars to do so, then once the next storm comes by it just moves it to where it was originally going anyways.

    Florida Bay is starving for freshwater and sea grass was dying there due to hyper salinity since we cut off their flow of freshwater in order to keep the AG fields dry. It is all tied together and you can't argue that.

    The article you reference is listed in the local Okeechobee news in the OPINIONs section. It is coming from Okeechobee, you think they might be a little one sided? Aside from UF, I wouldn't trust those other "sources" of information as far as I could throw them. They have been totally discredited as they are deeply connected to political parties who are deeply influenced by contribution by big AG. They are not pure and neither is their research. Hell Rubio's entire campaign started with that, let's not even get started on Mr. Scott. Corruption at it's best.

  3. #13
    Junior Member MonkeyBox Slider's Avatar
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    Agreed, mostly, and very valid points.

    I have no degree on the matter, and can only voice what I have seen. Algae blooms happen year after year in various degrees. I believe last years abundance, was more from a wetter and warmer winter, than years past. More so a result from climate than "big sugar". Yes, mankind has altered nature drastically for the sake of money, politics, and greed. Farming also has played a major role in sculpting the water management process. No doubt that the lake distributed the algae to coastal areas also. However, big sugar didn't contribute to major algae blooms in New York and California last year either. The fact that water leaving the lake has tested cleaner, than the water in charlotte harbor points to a few things also.

    All in all, hopefully the water will clean up for you guys soon, and we can get back to enjoying the awesome fisheries this great state has to offer.

  4. #14
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    The source of pollutants is partially septic tanks and it take high water levels and/or rain to let that source be a problem. But, it is mainly coming down the Kissimmee River system from Northern areas, being Orlando for human waste, and all the dairy and cattle farms for other waste.

    Its just not a Big Sugar problem anymore, the STA's take care of that source and we rarely backpump.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron@.38 Special View Post
    The source of pollutants is partially septic tanks and it take high water levels and/or rain to let that source be a problem. But, it is mainly coming down the Kissimmee River system from Northern areas, being Orlando for human waste, and all the dairy and cattle farms for other waste.

    Its just not a Big Sugar problem anymore, the STA's take care of that source and we rarely backpump.
    The way I see it, it's not rare at all. It happening annually to the tune of billions upon billions of gallons of polluted AG field water being back pumped into the lake to then be sent east and west instead of south like it should flow naturally.

    http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/loc...ies/669282001/

    "The pumps, he said, were "being used to protect the families and businesses there and will continue until the threat to human safety does not exist."

    Protecting families is essential. But to the extent the back-pumping was protecting businesses namely, the vast sugar fields and agricultural interests south of the lake we wonder how those interests could be deemed important enough to put more water into a lake already so full it required damaging discharges to both coasts."

    So let me get this straight. We release lake water east and west "because we cannot send it south like it should go" to lower the lake water levels to prevent the dike from failing. However, we back pump adding more water to the lake thus helping to raise the water levels in the lake to keep the AG fields dry south of the lake thus having to send even more water east and west???

    FACTS:
    January 2016- Back pumped 3 BILLION GALLONS into the lake from the south.
    June 2017- Back pumped 5.7 BILLION GALLONS into the lake from the south.
    September 2017- Back pumped 3.7 BILLION GALLONS into the lake from the south.

    No one is saying it's "just a big sugar problem" but to sit there an constantly deny...
    1. Back pumping happens and it's way more often than "rarely"
    2. Big Sugar is certainly a problem, not the sole problem but a problem none the less and also a giant hurdle to overcome on the way to a real solution "I.E. Sending it back south like it should naturally go..."

    So long as Big Sugar is in the way of a real solution, they will ALWAYS be apart of the problem IMO.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBox Slider View Post
    I'm no expert on the subject, but I can see a few problems with these statistics right off the bat.

    The green one: There is no comparison with the occurrence rate, severity, or size of blooms made. Everyone knows there have been algae blooms in the past. What is this telling us? Nothing.

    The brown one: It may be true that 70%-80% of the nutrients are local, but is that for the whole year? That would mean ~25% of the pollution in the river comes from Lake O in the span of a few weeks every couple of years. During these releases, the pollution would have to be at extreme levels and almost entirely from Lake O to add up to 25% for the year. I think this just confirms what people are complaining about.

    The blue one: Fine. The people on the coasts don't really care if it was from back pumping or Orlando. They want it sent south into the Everglades and Florida Bay where freshwater is lacking and where there are wetlands that would clean the water. I'm not sure this statistic really matters.

  7. #17
    Junior Member MonkeyBox Slider's Avatar
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    My problem with the subject has always been with terms like, polluted lake o water, or disgusting lake o discharges. I hear it all the time on the news. The lake is not polluted, or disgusting in any way. I've lived here on its shores for my entire life..which is only 30 something years, but I have seen many changes in my short time here. I've seen fields of lilly pads change to brush and hydrilla, then back to fields of pads. I've seen murky water and a dead plant matter covered bottom, to crystal clear water and natural, sandy bottom. The lake, before the storm, has been getting healthier and more productive every year in the past 10 years.

    My non-professional solution would be to control the releases at a reasonable rate. I don't understand the logic behind the massive releases followed by no releases, only to blast it again two weeks later. That just stirs everything up. Why not open the gates only slightly, for longer periods of time? The lake and rivers would not get stirred up as much, then flushed out to the coastal areas. I grew up fishing spillways and depended on moving water to keep my snook season's eventful. The steady 1-2 ft. gate heights were ideal for water clarity and happy fish. No one in the coast complained either. Having the gates open at 5+ ft. creates a current miles out into the lake and anything not rooted gets sucked out. Then the river fishing is tough because of all the vegetation floating down stream and brown water shows up on beaches.

    I went through lake harbor this weekend and was shocked nothing was being released into the Miami canal. Meanwhile I can't fish some spots in the caloosa because the gates are all at 6ft. and the white water rapids aren't my favorite place to try and present a bait.

  8. #18
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    before Irma
    Corps to release water from Lake Okeechobee in advance of Hurricane Irma
    http://www.wptv.com/news/region-okee...hurricane-irma

    after Irma
    Hurricane Irma update: Army Corps releases more water from Lake Okeechobee
    Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to release anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 cubic feet per second at the Franklin Lock starting Tuesday.

    The estuary is harmed when levels reach 2,800 cubic feet per second or above. Water quality scientists say as much as 27,000 cubic feet (about 300 million gallons a day) ran down the river in the wake of Irma.

    http://www.news-press.com/story/news...bee/680503001/
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBox Slider View Post
    So they release water from the lake in overflow basins C23 and C24 where somehow the overflow basins pick up phosphorous? And SFWMD blames the problem on the river, canal and basins. They ignore all the Ag runoff coming from the Kissimmee river basin. Hogwash and BS, literally and figuratively.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr

  10. #20
    Senior Member lemaymiami's Avatar
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    Two things to remember about water quality issues up that way - the first and primary is that the natural waters here are (were) almost nutrient free... that's what formed and sustained the Everglades to the south. Interrupt that flow of water or add nutrients, even in small amounts... causes lots of problems downstream (and no or very little water coming south is just as big a problem in season -when it's supposed to flow that way...). Over the years the amount of added nutrients from all sources (but mainly agriculture) has grown and grown. It's very cleanable if you set up marshes designed to remove the additional nutrients - but that will take land, and money to establish them. Where it's been tried -it's worked - and these days more and more agricultural interests have been cleaning up their discharges to the point where they're not loaded with nutrients at all.... so we do have some good prospects in that arena...

    Secondly, when the Corps releases water from the big lake it's only about safety -nothing else (unless we're somehow able to keep their feet in the fire...). Way back in the 1920's a terrible flood event occurred during a hurricane -and it killed hundreds and hundreds of folks south of Lake Okeechobee. That's why the current dike was built ten years later - and it's been there ever since... Whenever they believe the water level in the lake might possibly threaten that dike they'll discharge waters - and get it done as quickly as possible (remember their focus is the dike - not the water quality..).

    As I've said before - we don't have any problems - we didn't create ourselves... and fixing this mess will take a ton of money (and years of effort...) but it is do-able....
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