Residential Stormwater Quality Evaluation for the Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Applied Ecology was responsible for leading a team of interdisciplinary scientists (UCF, UF, and ECT) to determine effectiveness of fertilizer ordinances based on resident awareness, landscape management behavior and subsequent local water quality conditions in four neighborhoods located in three Florida counties surrounding the Tampa Bay Estuary area. This high-profile project, which was featured in Bay Soundings 11 (Fall 2011), was critical to better understand the extend of nutrient sources contributing to water quality problems, and the implementation of the TMDL and NNC criteria in the State of Florida. This was in-situ, socio-environmental research project that investigated the potential impact of local interventions (i.e. residential fertilizer ordinances or rules), on resident awareness, landscape management behavior and subsequent local water quality conditions in four neighborhoods located in three Florida counties. The research objectives under this project were to demonstrate in a real-world experiment a method to track the long-term ecological response (reduced nitrogen loads) associated with a social intervention (urban fertilizer ordinance) that reinforces an environmentally-responsible behavior (fertilizer application timing).The research examined residential water quality at a unique scale, from individual household lots, to stormwater runoff generated from communities, to onsite stormwater retention pond systems. The community-scale focus of this study contributed much-needed information to the growing body of urban ecology literature to expand the methods and tools that can be used to evaluate educational programs and municipal policies related to fertilizer and landscape management ordinances. As such, a manuscript detailing the study’s main conclusions is currently pending publication in a peer-reviewed respected academic journal.
Tested hypotheses during the Residential stormwater study.
Seasonal comparison of total nitrogen concentrations in surface and stormwater.
Client:
  • Tampa Bay Estuary Program (in partnership with Pinellas County)
  • Holly Greening (Executive Director)
Project Duration:
  • 2011 – 2015
Team Members:
  • Dr. Claudia Listopad
  • William Paton
Services Provided:
  • Initial community selection
  • Development of a QAPP
  • Behavioral and water quality (surface, groundwater, and stormwater) collection and analyses
  • Statistical and geostatistical analyses and reporting