Largest Baffle Box East of the Mississippi to be Constructed in Melbourne

By  //  December 27, 2019

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Project Partially Funded by half-cent tax to Save Indian River Lagoon

The Melbourne City Council approved the construction of the largest nutrient-separating baffle box east of the Mississippi River. It is the latest in a series of baffle boxes being installed at points throughout the city in an effort to reduce the amount of pollution going into the Indian River Lagoon.

The Cliff Creek Baffle Box will Remove 3,952 Pounds of Nitrogen and 797 Pounds of Phosphorus Per Year

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Melbourne City Council approved construction of the largest nutrient-separating baffle box east of the Mississippi River.

It is the latest in a series of baffle boxes being installed at points throughout the city in an effort to reduce the amount of pollution going into the Indian River Lagoon.

Baffle boxes are underground structures made up of chambers that trap debris, trash, and other pollutants from stormwater that flows off of streets and into storm drains after heavy rains.

“Nutrient-separating” baffle boxes have an added feature that also removes nitrogen and phosphorus – the two most harmful pollutants going into the Indian River Lagoon.

The new baffle box will be installed in the Cliff Creek neighborhood where it will remove pollutants from a 515-acre drainage basin roughly bounded by Stewart Road to the west, Sweetwood Drive to the north, U.S. 1 and the Indian River Lagoon to the east, and downtown Eau Gallie to the south.

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Not only is it the largest baffle box to be installed in the City of Melbourne, but it will also remove far more nitrogen and phosphorus.

In the past five years, the city has installed seven baffle boxes that combined have removed approximately 3,394 pounds of nitrogen and 829 pounds of phosphorus each year. On its own, the Cliff Creek baffle box will remove 3,952 pounds of nitrogen and 797 pounds of phosphorus per year.

The total cost of the Cliff Creek Baffle Box will be $715,290. It is being partially funded by the Save Our Indian River Lagoon ½-cent local infrastructure surtax fund in the amount of $347,781.

Approved by voters in November 2016, the collected tax revenue is being used to help fund projects throughout the county that are designed to reduce the amount of pollution entering the Indian River Lagoon.

Staff anticipates that several more baffle boxes will be added to the City’s system within the next five years with the help from the Save Our Indian River Lagoon Trust fund.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2020.

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