Lake Jovita developers must curb runoff, Swiftmud says
By CHASE SQUIRES, Times Staff Writer
ST. LEO -- Mud flowing from work at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club drew a warning letter Wednesday from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
According to a three-page letter from the agency, commonly known as Swiftmud, a property owner near the development complained twice in the past week about silt running off the property. Some of the runoff is finding its way into Lake Jovita, also known as Clear Lake, leaving a "plume of sediments" in the water, according to Swiftmud.
An employee at the development's offices said Wednesday that managing partner Roy Gaddey would be unavailable until next month, but said the problem was being dealt with.
Crews could be seen erecting plastic runoff barriers near areas of construction on Wednesday.
"Time is of the essence, since hurricane season is under way," Swiftmud engineer David Sua wrote in his warning letter. "Any delays could only exacerbate erosion problems at that location. In light of this, the district will grant you one week from the date of this letter to complete corrective work."
Swiftmud spokesman Michael Molligan said no fines have been assessed, and as long as Lake Jovita developers resolve the issue, none will be likely.
"Generally speaking, we usually try to resolve the problem first, without getting into something like that," he said.
In addition to sediment forming a plume in the lake, Sua listed nine other problems at the 900-home development.
He reported runoff from the project washed out a nearby resident's driveway, sediment has been deposited along other properties, and a water pipe ruptured, adding to runoff problems along Dunne Road, next to the development. Sua also said developers must figure out how to remove sediment from their project that has accumulated in a drainage canal that feeds Lake Jovita.
"The district will entertain a proposal from the permittee on how to accomplish this," Sua wrote.
Developers have until Wednesday to fix the problems.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111