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Surface Water Protection



From fishing in one of the freshwater lakes, to boating in the Lake Worth Lagoon, to scuba diving an artificial reef off the coast, the health of Palm Beach County's surface water is critical to our fragile ecosystems. Untreated or poorly treated stormwater runoff can carry pollutants through drainage canals into lakes, estuaries and ultimately out to tide diminishing water quality, wildlife health and habitats, and native plant communities.

ERM is responsible for the following actions in the protection of surface water:


Water Quality Monitoring

In accordance with the Clean Water Act,  ERM collects water samples from surface waters to monitor the amount of pollutants present.  This information is then used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to identify Impaired Water Bodies (polluted or degraded) and set the maximum amount that a pollutant can be present without degrading water quality, or the Total Maximum Daily Load.


Stormwater Discharges

National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit issued to Palm Beach County by the EPA and managed by ERM for compliance of storm sewers to reduce the amount of pollutants that enter "waters of the United States".

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Ordinance administered​ by ERM to prevent illicit discharges (other than storm water) from entering "waters of the United States".