The South Florida Water Management District’s Stormwater Treatment Area 3/4 was awarded the Grand Conceptor Award – the nation’s most prestigious award for innovative engineering – on April 11 by the American Council of Engineering Companies. STA 3/4 is a constructed wetland built on 17,000 acres of former farmland designed to naturally remove high levels of phosphorus from water entering the STA from the thousands of acres of active agricultural fields to its north. After the water flows through the STA, phosphorus levels are significantly reduced. The treated water is then allowed to enter the Everglades. This stormwater treatment area is the largest ever constructed in the world and has exceeded performance expectations since it began operation.
The South Florida Water Management District is a regional, governmental agency that oversees the water resources in the southern half of the state – 16 counties from Orlando to the Keys. It is the oldest and largest of the state’s five water management districts. The agency mission is to manage and protect water resources of the region by balancing and improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply. A key initiative is cleanup and restoration of the Everglades.