The Water Division protects, restores, and enhances surface and groundwater quality through the implementation of monitoring, permitting, compliance, and enforcement programs. We regulate activities that can potentially impact water quality in the environment, including industrial and domestic wastewater treatment, industrial stormwater, and overflows from septic and sanitary sewer systems. We monitor water and sediment quality in Hillsborough County’s public waterways and report our findings to guide the management of water quality in Tampa Bay.
Our Domestic and Industrial Wastewater Programs protect the public and the environment by ensuring that wastewater is treated and disposed of in a proper manner. This is achieved through permitting, compliance assistance, enforcement, and public education.
Our laboratory supports the monitoring efforts of the agency by performing chemical and other analyses of air, water and sediment samples. We provide technical support to local, state and federal agencies in the evaluation of environmental impacts, and are certified by the Florida Department of Health.
Our Artificial Reef Program has increased habitat diversity in Tampa Bay by providing hard-bottom substrates and communities which might not otherwise be available. The reefs also provide additional fishing opportunities for the sport fishing public in the bay area. To date, eight artificial reefs have been created in Tampa Bay deploying over 50,000 tons of material.
Our Biological Monitoring Program samples the sediments and organisms living within to assess the overall health of the benthic environment. Pollutants in the air and surface waters can accumulate in the sediments of our bays and rivers. This normally unseen environment is ecologically active and a very important part of our overall ecosystem.
Our Water Quality Monitoring Program comprises over 250 surface water stations in Tampa Bay, the rivers and their tributaries, and Lake Thonotosassa. Our data is utilized by a broad range of federal, state, and local agencies to identify and carry out reasonable and cost-effective environmental improvement projects and bay management initiatives.
Our staff partners with other local agencies to collect data for the annual Tampa Bay seagrass survey. Seagrass data is collected throughout the bay and results are used for water quality and baywide management decisions.