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Press Releases and News

Posted on: September 25, 2020

Rum Island Reopening and Spring Restoration Project

Rum Island Park Restoration

The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) partnered with Columbia County to improve water quality at Rum Island Spring through the Regional Initiative Valuing Environmental Resources (RIVER) cost-share program. The District funded $150,000 to improve bank stabilization and install a septic system advanced treatment unit.

“As a Columbia County resident, I recognize the importance of this project to our water resources,” said Charles Keith, board member of the District. “We are fortunate to have these resources in our county. I hope all of the residents and visitors to the community are able to see the new improvements and enjoy this spring.”

Columbia County was awarded the project in 2017 through the RIVER cost-share program at the District. The project included reducing nutrients by installing a high-efficiency septic system as required in areas that influence water quality in springs, known as Priority Focus Areas. As a result, the septic system includes an advanced treatment unit that provides further nutrient reduction to the treated wastewater at the drain field.

“We all play a role in working to protect water quality. The District’s RIVER cost-share program provides support to local governments to improve water quality and water conservation issues in their area,” said Hugh Thomas, executive director of the District. “Project by project, we can and will continue to make a difference for the environment and our communities.”  

The project also included using natural materials to prevent erosion. Sediment that was removed from the spring pool was reused to stabilize the bank. Grass was re-established along the shoreline to provide additional stabilization. 

Since 2013, the District has provided over $8.6 million in RIVER grant funding to communities in the District’s15-county region. A total of 76 projects have been funded, saving an estimated 1.5 million gallons of water per day through water conservation and improving water quality by reducing over 5,000 pounds of nitrogen per year.

Charles Keith at Rum Island Spring

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties. 

For more information about the District, visit www.MySuwanneeRiver.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, search @SRWMD.

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