COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — The City Council for Marco Island has decided that nitrogen and phosphorus are not the cause of degraded water quality in the city canals.
The decision comes after the Jacobs Engineering Group published a report showing a reduction in the levels of nutrients in the city's waterways. The report also did not find improvements to the Reclaimed water production facility.
Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater and is reused for irrigation on public landscapes like golf courses, public medians, and City parks.
A follow-up study performed by Environmental Research and Design (ERD) indicated that phosphorus is not a nutrient of concern for the Marco Island waterways. City staff has also collected groundwater samples and the results show that phosphorous and nitrogen levels in the water where reclaimed water is applied, were below the amount allowed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
In December 2022, City Council approved an aeration pilot project for 2023-2024. The project aims to increase oxygen in the water to improve water quality. This issue continues to be a top priority for the Marco Island City Council and staff.
For more information on what “nutrients” are in regard to water quality, see extension.edu for more information.