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Venice to prioritize projects for stormwater quality improvement

VENICE – The city of Venice will concentrate on several island stormwater drainage projects as the next big step in an effort to improve water quality.

City Engineer Kathleen Weeden and engineers Jenna Phillips and Gary Serviss with Taylor Engineering briefed the Venice City Council Tuesday on the direction the city will take, with respect to the city’s 28 stormwater drainage outfalls on the island of Venice – including 10 that funnel stormwater into the Gulf of Mexico.

About half of those 10 outfalls have different levels of treatment to improve water quality.

The city of Venice has been working to improve runoff since the 1990s but started an aggressive effort to clean up city stormwater runoff in the aftermath of the economically devastating 2018 red tide bloom.

The testing looked at total suspended solids as well as levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and fecal coliform.

Serviss said current results in that study “pretty much confirmed that nutrients should be a focus of future stormwater projects.”

The city will expand its monitoring efforts to include the Hatchett Creek Basin to determine water quality before it enters city limits.

Design on a current project, which would deal with Outfalls No. 1 and No. 2 should be complete at the end of this month.

In addition there are six other priority projects that will be paid for out of about $4.3 million that the city has earmarked in its five-year capital improvement program.