A Partners In Planning Publication of

 The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board &  

 The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission 

eNews Issue 26  

                  Spring 2017   


In This Issue

Upcoming Meetings
Meet your River Board
River Board video
Living shoreline solution
Art protecting water quality
Water Conservation Month
Zoo water resource master plan
TAC works with EPC on dock permitting
Planning for tomorrow's needs
Tampa Bay EcoFest
Temple Terrace fertilizer restrictions fail
USGS Charts

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Upcoming Meetings

Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board Meetings
9:30a @ Temple Terrace City Hall
City Council Conference Room 
Tuesday, May 16 *
Monday, August 28
Monday, November 13

* 1:30p - Joint Meeting with the TAC @ Tampa Union Station   

Hillsborough River Technical Advisory Council (TAC) Meetings
1:30p @ Tampa Union Station
Tuesday, April 18
Tuesday, May 16
Tuesday, June 20
Tuesday, August 15
Tuesday, September 19
Tuesday, October 17  
Tuesday, November 21

View the full meeting calendar. Agendas are posted one week prior to each meeting.

For more information on the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board & Technical Advisory Council, call 813.272.5940 or visit:

Meet your Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board
City Council
Guido Maniscalco

Temple Terrace
City Council
Andy Ross

Al Higganbotham
Hillsborough County Commission
Al Higginbotham

What is the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board & TAC?
River Board
River Board supports living shoreline solution to shoreline erosion
At their regular meeting on February 27, the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board endorsed the Ecosphere Restoration Institute's planned restoration of the shoreline at Ignacio Haya Park in Tampa. Ecosphere, a nonprofit organization, is involved with promoting living shorelines as an ecologically superior alternative to hardened shoreline structures such as seawalls and bulkheads. The River Board supports the implementation of these softer shoreline treatment options and the benefit they provide to the river. The River Board also supports Ecosphere and the City of Tampa in their pursuit of grant funding from the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission and from the Tampa Bay Estuary Program's habitat restoration grants to implement this important project.

Art to help protect water quality in the river
The Hillsborough Trash Free Waters Initiative continues to raise awareness about the importance of putting waste in its place. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful (KTTB) supports the initiative through their mission to promote a culture of environmental stewardship through volunteer and educational opportunities.

Trash Travels
Trash Travels
To get the community more involved and educated on how our behavior impacts storm drains, KTTB has partnered with local artist Terry Klaaren to create visual messaging about the effects of roadway pollution. Pairing this activity with other visual tools such as the Trash Travels video and the infographic below, the goal is to significantly reduce the amount of litter entering our storm drain and, ultimately, our waterways.

In this unique project, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful staff educated students on storm water pollution prevention and created an environmental education art contest. The students at Community Stepping Stones submitted sketches for the Storm Drain Art Contest. The winner got their design on the storm drain inlet on the corner of East Waters Ave and 19th Street in Sulphur Springs.
The students were supervised by Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful staff and Terry Klaaren to ensure that the environmental message was painted carefully (Deco art paint that contained a sealant for outdoor painting projects) and did not create any additional pollution in, on, or near the inlet. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is committed to maintaining the art for educational purposes in perpetuity.

April is Water Conservation Month

The Tampa Bay Water board of directors has joined the State of Florida in declaring April as Water Conservation Month. Florida is the only state in the country to designate a month promoting water conservation. In the Tampa Bay region, local government water conservation and reuse programs have offset approximately 24 million gallons per day of potable demand since 1995.

The highest potential for water savings is in the spring as Florida's temperatures increase in April, May and early June while the state's rainfall is low. This leads many residents and businesses to use more water on their landscapes.
Some tips to save water outdoors this spring are:
  • Only water on designated days
  • Skip watering a landscape if it's raining, just rained or rain chances are high or if your landscape doesn't need the water.
  • Make sure your irrigation timers are set according to watering restrictions.
  • Check with Hillsborough County's UF IFAS Extension office for help with Florida-Friendly Landscaping™
Get more water saving and water efficiency tips. 
River Board supports Lowry Park Zoo Water Resources Master Plan
The Lowry Park Zoo's Water Resources Master Plan is the necessary first step in reducing the Zoo's nitrogen input to the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bay and effectively conserving water for reuse. The plan's main focus is to address the 55 million gallons per year of combined stormwater and wastewater treated by the Lowry Park Zoo that ultimately discharges to Hamilton Creek, a tributary to the Hillsborough River. Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is a partner of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program's Nitrogen Management Consortium and has an allocation through the Tampa Bay Reasonable Assurance Plan to discharge 1,000 lbs of nitrogen per year to Tampa Bay. Creation of the Lowry Park Zoo Water Resources Master Plan allows the Zoo to plan, design, and implement projects that will seek to reduce their entire total nitrogen loadings of approximately 1,000 lbs/year and reduce water consumption.

Water resource management is focused on the separation of combined wastewater and stormwater treatment trains where wastewater would be isolated, treated in a new onsite facility, and stored for future reuse. Stormwater improvements are identified for various locations within the Zoo property as well as at the adjacent City of Tampa Lowry Park. In addition, biological treatment systems and alternative technologies such as air diffusion or chemical treatment are investigated for feasibility. The Master Plan addresses water loss reduction and prevention, facilities records management, capital improvement for replacing infrastructure, and the utility of reuse options from a future wastewater treatment facility. Study tasks included:
  • Inventory, analysis, and mapping of water infrastructure inventory
  • Updating operations protocol and flow diagram for the animal waste system
  • Developing water, pure stormwater, and domestic wastewater flow diagrams
  • Determining the feasibility of separating stormwater and animal wastewater for increased water quality
  • Examining the existing stormwater infrastructure on the main Zoo exhibit property
  • Evaluating potential for any on-site wastewater treatment systems and options for reuse of washdown water and enhancement or reuse of captured on-site irrigation
  • Evaluating the feasibility of constructing an animal wastewater collection system for conveyance to the City of Tampa's system
  • Conducting a capacity analysis of the City system that runs through the Zoo parking lot and providing information on available capacity
  • Evaluating adjacent properties for increased stormwater treatment to improve stormwater and/or water quality treatment
  • Developing water conservation, reuse and waste reduction actions to decrease water use and increase on-site recycling
  • Producing a master plan containing all the outputs from study tasks; opportunities for best management practices related to nutrient removal and water loss reduction; recommendations for separation of combined stormwater and animal wastewater flows; potential use of existing Zoo property; water conservation and reuse options; potential for waste-to-energy/compost projects; preliminary capital and life-cycle costs of the most feasible options; and recommendations for incorporation of projects into the Zoo's ongoing education program
At its February 27 regular meeting, the River Board took action to endorse the Lowry Park Zoo Water Resources Master Plan and urged the Zoo to pursue efforts to fund the implementation of this important plan. The River Board strongly supports actions to limit harmful nutrient loading of the Hillsborough River. The Master Plan offers a comprehensive assessment and design recommendations to improve the Zoo's management of stormwater. The treatment and avoidance of discharges of nutrient-laden waters to the Hillsborough River is very important to the river's health and the enjoyment of our community.

EPC looks to expedite dock permitting
Last year the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) gave the EPC Commissioners a presentation on the State of the Agency. It was noted that dock permits were taking longer than other permits issued by the agency. A member of the EPC turned to the River Board & TAC for any advice or new ideas to help expedite the EPC permit issuing process. EPC staff was particularly interested in hearing from the expertise on the River Board's Technical Advisory Council.

An informative presentation was presented to the TAC at their January 17 regular meeting. Several points were gleaned from a thoughtful discussion that followed. First, it was noted that EPC staff is not taking longer with in-house processing of these permits than other permits. The longer timeline in issuing these permits is primarily due to delays from the applicant or their agent in completing the application. For other types of permits, the applicants typically have more experience and technical expertise in completing the applications and supplying the necessary supplemental materials. However for dock permitting, the applicant is often a homeowner who is not experienced in completing the application materials. The River Board's TAC made several helpful suggestions:
  • Encourage applicants to participate in a pre-application meeting. TAC members also suggested that the availability and scheduling of such meetings be made more prominent and accessible on the EPC's website.
  • Improve accessibility of this permit information on the Countyand Port's websites.
  • Encourage the applicant and their agent to be present when EPC staff visits the project site.
  • Investigate tracking the time a permit is taking at each phase from when the completed application is submitted, through the evaluation process, to the issuance of the permit.
  • Finally, the EPC agreed ongoing contractors' workshops would be beneficial in helping applicants and their agents navigate the process in a timely manner.
This collaboration between EPC staff and the River Board's TAC demonstrates the important resources and services the River Board & TAC continue to provide to the community.

Planning today for water tomorrow
watering-can-child.jpg Projections show Florida's population topping 6 million people by 2030, with 500,000 new residents heading to Tampa Bay Water's service area. Tampa Bay Water is the regional potable water supply wholesaler to several local governments. New water supply options are being explored to meet the needs of our growing region as part of their Long-term Master Water Plan.They are about two years in to this comprehensive planning effort, which includes numerous studies, computer models and analyses of both supply and demand. The current update will be completed in 2018, and will tell us how much water we'll need and where we'll need it. That gives Tampa Bay Water plenty of time to design, permit and build the next new water supply before it's needed in 2028.

Their project team is investigating four different source waters: groundwater, seawater, surface water and reclaimed water. Each of these sources can produce high-quality drinking water, thanks to advanced processes that filter and disinfect. Their system currently includes groundwater, seawater, and surface water. Reclaimed water, wastewater that has been cleaned and recovered for useful purposes, could supplement our existing sources to bolster drinking water supplies without taking more water from the environment. Project concepts under investigation include:
  • Aquifer Recharge and Withdrawal: Recharging the Floridan Aquifer using reclaimed water that has been cleaned to drinking water standards, which increases water levels, so groundwater can be withdrawn and treated to produce high-quality drinking water for distribution.
  • Surface Water Expansion: Withdrawing more water from the Alafia River or adding reclaimed water to the Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant to supplement the existing supply. Reclaimed water may augment the existing river water flow into the plant or it may be cleaned to drinking water standards at a new advanced, multi-barrier facility then blended with high-quality drinking water for distribution.
  • Tampa Bay Desalination Expansion: Withdrawing more seawater from Tampa Bay or supplementing the existing source with reclaimed water. Reclaimed water may augment the existing flow into the plant or may be cleaned to drinking water standards at a new advanced, multi-barrier facility then blended with high-quality drinking water for distribution.
  • Gulf Coast Desalination: A new desalination facility co-located with the Anclote Power Plant that would desalinate seawater from the Gulf of Mexico.
Project concepts may change or be eliminated as the project team conducts technical analyses and meets with stakeholders, including regulatory agencies. Variations for each concept are being evaluated, including options being explored by the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County. A ranked list of alternatives will be presented to Tampa Bay Water's board of directors in late 2018.

Celebrate Earth Day Tampa Bay at EcoFest
EcoFest 2017 is a community event organized by Learning Gate Community School, the City of Tampa, and the USF Office of Student Affairs to celebrate the many businesses, organizations, and individuals in the Tampa Bay area dedicated to the principles of sustainability - Ecology, Equity and Economy.

The 8th Annual EcoFest will be held onat the Lowry Park bandshell area - 7525 N  Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33604. The event is FREE and open to the public from There will be live music, workshops, demonstrations, informational booths, green living products and services. Some local artists, green businesses, environmental organizations, alternative health practitioners, renewable energy specialists, organic farms and gardens with produce will also be featured.

Additional fertilizer application restrictions fail to pass in Temple Terrace

The City of Temple Terrace first amended its Land Development Code (LDC) in November 2013 to limit the use of lawn fertilizer and provide the intent to establish a prohibited application period in Section 12-628.2, but did not specify a time frame. In December 2016, the Temple Terrace City Council considered amending their residential fertilizer ordinance with minor refinements to the major LDC revisions adopted in 2013. Representatives of the lawn care industry spoke against the new rules at the Temple Terrace City Council Public Hearing. The Tampa Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club supported the proposed amendments. The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board's Technical Advisory Council also had taken action to recommend the River Board support the amendments. However, the River Board was unable to hold a meeting to consider the recommendation prior to the City Council Public Hearing date due to changes in membership causing a lack of quorum. The Temple Terrace City Council voted down the proposal which would have:
  1. Established a fertilizer restricted season from June 1 through September 30 each year (rainy season), during which time fertilizer containing nitrogen and/or phosphorous could not be applied to turf or landscape plants
  2. Instead of recommending that granular fertilizers containing nitrogen contain the maximum available percent of slow release nitrogen possible per guaranteed analysis label, it would have required they contain no less than 50% slow release nitrogen per guaranteed analysis label
  3. Any person who obtained a soil analysis test showing a phosphorus deficiency and who wishes to apply phosphorus would have had to mail a copy of the test results to the City Public Works Stormwater Division, rather than maintaining a copy of the test results for 2 years and allowing the City Manager to review the results upon request
  4. Added to the list of exempted activities yard waste, compost, mulches or other similar materials that are primarily organic in nature and are applied to improve the physical condition of soil
Pinellas and Manatee Counties and the City of Tampa have adopted more restrictive regulations than Hillsborough County. The existing and proposed regulations for the City of Temple Terrace are more restrictive than Hillsborough County's but less restrictive than the City of Tampa's which also regulates the sale of granular fertilizers containing nitrogen that is less than 50% slow release between October 1st and May 31st. It is estimated that the implementation of fertilizer limitations by local governments, including Temple Terrace's proposed amendments, could reduce nitrogen loadings to Tampa Bay by as much as 84 tons per year, assuming a moderate level (50%) of compliance. This could be a significant factor in our collective efforts to meet new federal and state regulatory limits on nitrogen loadings to the bay. Additionally, since the cost of removing nitrogen from the bay through stormwater treatment projects ranges from $40,000-$200,000 per ton (depending on the treatment method used), preventing the introduction of nitrogen through fertilizer restrictions could result in a substantial cost savings to local governments.

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