Water Quality Committee

BBECA Canal Water Quality Committee 

BBECA has had an established community Canal Water Quality Committee (CWQC) for most of the organization’s existence.  Past CWQC activities included volunteer training, cooperative water quality testing with the State of Florida and coordination with Monroe County for the installation and follow-up maintenance of the culvert on canal #11. The committee’s highest priority has been and remains community education and outreach, while identifying and implementing *Best Practices for CWQC projects. (* the definition of Best Practices is “a procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results, and that is established as a standard suitable for widespread adoption.) 

Vision Statement:

The prime goal of the Canal Water Quality Committee (CWQC) is to work to ensure that the community’s canals and surrounding waters meet the State of Florida’s water quality standards and enhances property values and the overall quality of life in the community.

Ongoing Projects:

  • Dissolved Oxygen Testing (Florida Keys Water Watch) -Volunteers perform monthly chemical testing from their adopted site for dissolved oxygen, salinity, and temperature. For info and to volunteer, contact Rick Harty ([email protected])
  • Nutrient Testing (Florida LAKEWATCH) - Volunteers are trained to collect monthly samples at coastal sites to measure nutrient levels. For info and to volunteer, contact Rick Richbourg (cell: 407-492-3000).
  • Aeration Project – the Water Quality committee has started an aeration project to educate and assist homeowners to install aeration systems.  Links to information on how to install aerators and a listing of aerators installed will be added to the BBECA website.

Committee Activities in 2020:

  1. Revised its vision statement and action plan – for new member orientation and for potential grant opportunities  
  2. Completed a summary of past and current testing programs – for new member orientation and for potential grant opportunities
  3. Considered potential for grant opportunity with the department of environmental protection – deciding that we did not have time or resources to apply for grant at this time
  4. Attended – via zoom – governmental meetings regarding changes to wastewater management and canal restoration in the comprehensive plan for Monroe county.  
  5. Asked the county to inspect the canal # 11 culvert – found no blockage
  6. Completed monthly dissolved oxygen testing at two locations on the main canal
  7. Completed a canal wide (20 location) testing for dissolved oxygen over a two-hour testing period – to identify differences in dissolved oxygen at different locations
  8. Began making governmental contacts to re-start the nutrient testing program – which will likely be started in January 2021
  9. Prepared a new tips sheet identifying water quality best practices and distributed it throughout the neighborhood – with thanks to the membership chair and block captains!
  10. Started an aeration project to educate and assist homeowners to install aeration systems