The City of Melbourne has implemented a comprehensive plan for reducing nutrient loading into the Indian River Lagoon. The plan includes improvements to the City’s stormwater drainage system; treating runoff through a system of retention facilities, baffle boxes, wetlands, rain gardens, and exfiltration systems; collecting stormwater fees to finance the program; coordinating with the St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and other agencies in regulating stormwater discharges to the Indian River Lagoon. The City is also working with Brevard County and other municipalities within the county to continue public education about stormwater and the effects of pollution. Improvements are funded by the stormwater utility fee and by grants.
In 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, mandated the City reduce the amount of nutrients entering the Indian River Lagoon in order to improve water quality conditions that are necessary for the re-growth of seagrass. The reduction mandate is significant and will require many capital stormwater treatment projects. It is estimated that it will cost the City $196 million over the next 15 years.
The City is currently working on several stormwater projects that will eliminate pollutants from the stormwater runoff entering the Indian River Lagoon. Some of these projects include:
- 2nd Generation Nutrient Baffle Boxes
- South Croton Road
- Garfield Street
- Bell Street
- Paradise Boulevard
- Melbourne Avenue
- Young Street
- South Sarno Drainage Improvements
- Stormwater quality retrofit project that will treat for an existing drainage basin 1,475 acres in size that currently has very little existing stormwater treatment.
- Southwest Park Drainage Improvements near Florida Avenue
- Upsizing existing pipes to allow for improved drainage and the installation of a 2nd generation nutrient baffle box