Included in the 23-24 State Budget, the Town of Oakland was awarded a $2 million legislative appropriation for an innovative alternative water project. The appropriation will pay for a large portion of the project, with the Town also committing an additional $400,000.00. As the project moves forward, additional funding from various grants, loans, and utility impact fees, will also be leveraged to complete construction.
The Town has developed an alternative water project using an existing Town-owned drainage canal to harvest stormwater runoff, and then utilize it for irrigation purposes. This project will intercept, filter, and treat the nutrient-rich stormwater run-off before it reaches Lake Apopka, a lake which has been deemed as impaired by the state. The treated stormwater will then be returned to upland areas through the irrigation network, which in turn reduces the Town’s reliance on high quality potable water.
Through a single connection, 155 existing homes will initially convert to this system. With a few thousand feet of pipeline and four connection points, another 750 homes and several commercial properties will see the same benefit. The project is expected to start construction in early 2024, with the first phase being completed soon thereafter. Additional phases will follow as funding allows.
The Town Commission continues to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the environment by investing in water-related projects and meeting the standards of the Central Florida Water Initiative.