South Florida Water Management District
The SFWMD Okeechobee Field Station were installing a series of temporary pumps to capture water from the S-135 Basin that would otherwise go into Lake Okeechobee. The water will instead be moved into Phase 2 of the Lakeside Ranch Stormwater Treatment Area for shallow storage.
The 2,700-acre Lakeside Ranch STA in western Martin County is a key component of the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program that will improve the quality of water flowing into the lake.
"Lake Okeechobee is the heart of the Everglades," said SFWMD Governing Board member Brandon Tucker. "The Lakeside Ranch STA will reduce the amount of phosphorus in water that flows into the lake to benefit the entire region. This is, yet, another critical restoration project that is being completed under the leadership of this District and Gov. Rick Scott.
SFWMD previously constructed 2,700 acres of wetlands in two phases, capable of treating stormwater runoff from the Taylor Creek and Nubbin Slough basins flowing into Lake Okeechobee. The treatment area uses wetland plants to remove phosphorus from stormwater runoff naturally.
The S-191A Pump Station is the last component of the Lakeside Ranch project. Taylor Creek and Nubbin Slough basins have the highest phosphorus levels of any incoming watershed into the lake, with average total levels of more than 400 parts per billion (ppb). Phosphorus levels leaving Lakeside Ranch after treatment have been measured as low as 20 ppb. The STA can remove nearly 21 tons of phosphorus each year from the waters feeding the lake.
Eight producers serving six states were recognized as industry leaders in environmental stewardship by judges for the 12th annual Commitment to Environmental Excellence Awards. Program cosponsors Concrete Products magazine and the Environmental Task Group of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s Operations, Environment and Safety Committee further commend all of this year’s contestants for their dedication to environmental initiatives. The recently introduced “Comeback Kid” award honors those companies that have invested significant capital and effort to upgrade an old plant to the level of a model facility.
The Environmental Excellence Awards program is open to any NRMCA member company owning a fixed plant in the U.S. or Canada. To be eligible, facilities must have operated in full compliance with federal, state and local environmental regulations for a minimum of two years. Criteria weighed by the judges include compliance, site aesthetics, written plant procedures, training and employee involvement, water/ solid waste management, air quality management, community relations, operating challenges, overall management commitment, and environmental delivery awareness.
Thus, written overviews of each criterion are submitted by contestants with photos illustrating air- and water-pollution control methods, noise abatement measures, and landscaping.
Entries for the Environmental Excellence program are split into three categories based on the plant’s annual production volume: A for plants producing less than 50,000 yd.; B for plants producing between 50,000 and 100,000 yd.; and C for plants producing more than 100,000 yd.
Serving as judges in this year’s competition were four industry professionals:
· Thomas Carter, Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C. office
· Becky Morris Aggregate Industries Inc., Mid Atlanta Region, Washington, D.C.
· John Hayden, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, Alexandria, Va.
· Doug Ruhlin, Resources Management Associates, Forked River, N.J.
As the Environmental Excellence Awards program is sustained by contestants’ participation, eligible producers are encouraged to enter their plants later this year for the 2007 competition. Entry forms are available at www.nrmca.org
Maschmeyer Concrete Co.
Martin County Plant
In recruiting, training, and retaining high-quality team members – undeterred by occasional hurricane squalls – Maschmeyer’s Martin County Plant aims to build a first-rate work force fully vested in the operation. To that end, a Team Member Handbook outlines employee procedures; Drum Beat magazine communicates company news to both employees and customers; bonus load, yearly safety bonus, and delivery professional referral bonus programs reward initiative and extra effort; and, an annual truck and operator rodeo provides entertainment, plus cash prizes for winners. Further enhancing employment at the facility is a site layout optimized for ease and efficiency. Basic procedures save hours of maintenance time and prevent contamination, e.g., aggregate trucks never cross mixer truck paths, and water/ solid waste is captured immediately through source point collection. Maximum water recycling is achieved by multiple settings of all contaminated water prior to discharge into the pond system; automation of all setting pits and ponds; and, regular inspection of all systems to insure proper functioning.