Port Tampa Bay Secures Second ‘Smart Pond’ To Further Improve Water Quality, Build on Flood & Climate Resiliency

‘Smart Pond’ Revealed During American Association of Port Authority POWERS Conference Focusing on Resiliency & Energy Security

TAMPA, Fla. (January 25, 2023) – With port executives from around the country attending the American Association of Port Authority (AAPA) Port Opportunities with Energy, Resiliency and Sustainability (POWERS) summit at host seaport Port Tampa Bay, National Stormwater Trust, Inc. revealed the recent installation of a second Smart Pond to further strengthen water quality and flood protection near the port and Tampa Bay.

Resilient and sustainable, Smart Ponds allow seaports to protect the environment from untreated stormwater and shield against extreme weather events, while also ensuring that nearly 100 percent of a port’s available land can be dedicated to meeting expansion demands for cargo calling on ports.

“Seaports are the gateway for America’s economy, and resilient, green infrastructure that protects America’s ports is essential,” said Jeff Littlejohn, P.E., Co-Founder of National Stormwater Trust (NST). “Port Tampa Bay is leading by example, and embracing the future of stormwater management with two Smart Ponds that are improving water quality, while also providing flood protection.”

Installed at the beginning of January, the second Smart Pond is located near Port Tampa Bay on State Road 676. It joins Port Tampa Bay’s first Smart Pond, installed near the entrance of Port Tampa Bay on South 22nd Street last June. The first Smart Pond quickly demonstrated its value, successfully capturing more than 175,000 cubic feet of stormwater during Hurricane Ian, reducing flooding in neighborhoods and businesses surrounding Port Tampa Bay and preventing this untreated runoff from flowing into Tampa Bay.

The inaugural Smart Pond at Port Tampa Bay was recently awarded an Environmental Stewardship Award from the Florida Recycling Partnership for its protection of untreated stormwater from flowing into Tampa Bay during Hurricane Ian.

Here’s how NST’s Smart Ponds work: They leverage a real-time weather forecasting and automated control system from OptiRTC to lower water levels before a storm arrives. While the sun is still shining, a Smart Pond can drain itself to increase its flood storage capacity. A Smart Pond is also in constant communication with professional stormwater managers and can even be remotely controlled. These innovations result in dramatic improvements to water quality treatment and flood protection performance.

NST Smart Ponds have been installed at Florida Department of Transportation Ponds as part of a multi-year program to improve stormwater management across Florida. NST has also installed Smart Ponds for the award-winning Babcock Ranch, and are in development at JAXPORT, Port Canaveral and The Villages, among other locations.

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ABOUT NATIONAL STORMWATER TRUST®:

Providing public and private organizations with unparalleled stormwater infrastructure solutions and improving water quality for the communities we serve. Visit us at NationalStormwater.com.

Babcock Ranch Boasts Latest Stormwater Technology

While Florida continues to dig out from the devastation caused by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, many are looking for ways to improve the resiliency of their communities before the next storm season.

Alongside the recovery and rebuilding, many assessments about “what worked and what didn’t” are coming to light. When it comes to dangerous stormwater, new cutting-edge Smart Pond stormwater systems installed at Port Tampa Bay and at Babcock Ranch performed exactly as they were designed.

In the case of the Port Tampa Bay Smart Pond, neighboring homes and businesses avoided flooding, and 175,000 cubic feet of untreated stormwater was prevented from flowing into Tampa Bay.

Bottom line: NST’s Smart Pond systems strengthened the resiliency of both communities.


The success was such a ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark chapter that it’s garnered attention across the board.


“We couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of our six NST Smart Ponds that were in the path of Hurricane Ian. Our primary focus is improving water quality. But when a storm of that size is headed towards Florida, our objective shifts to protecting communities and the environment from the flooding impacts of stormwater,” said Jeff Littlejohn, National Stormwater Trust Co-Founder.


The Results Are In

Tampa Bay & Port Tampa Bay Area: The water level in this Smart Pond was automatically lowered by almost four feet before the first hurricane bands began to impact the region. That extra storage enabled the Smart Pond to capture more than 175,000 cubic feet of untreated stormwater, preventing its discharge into the neighboring community and nearby Tampa Bay.
Babcock Ranch: NST Smart Ponds in this Southwest Florida residential community near the Caloosahatchee River used live rainfall forecasts to project the impact of the storm before its arrival. This
real-time flood forecasting capability gave the community’s leaders assurance that its large lakes had adequate storage to contain the stormwater and protect the homes, roadways, and schools.

“This confirms for the me the value of smart stormwater technology,” said Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO, Kitson & Partners. “As our community grows, we look forward to continued collaboration with NST to incorporate their Smart Pond technology.”

Babcock Ranch is the brainchild of Kitson, a 64-year-old former professional football player who made his name in the 1980s with the Green Bay Packers. He went on to found a real estate development company, Kitson & Partners, and Babcock Ranch is one of firm’s showcase projects.

Jennifer Languell is a sustainability engineer who helped design Babcock Ranch, and resident. “We felt you could develop and improve land, not just develop in a traditional way where people think you are destroying the land. We have a lot of open spaces. We have a lot of trails. We have
a lot of parks,” she says. “The things that we do, you don’t see. The strength of the buildings, or the infrastructure that deals with stormwater, or the utilities. You don’t see that stuff,” she says. “Which is good, because most people don’t need or want to think about it.”


How Smart Ponds Work

Most Floridians are familiar with traditional stormwater ponds. They are all around us in residential communities and commercial developments alike. Traditional ponds hold rain and stormwater runoff, however, in large storms, these ponds often overflow and flood the surrounding area with untreated stormwater.

The latest innovation in stormwater management is to connect a pond to live weather forecast data and use that information to project water levels and, if necessary, automatically lower its water level before a storm arrives. While the sun is still shining, an NST Smart Pond

Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation Presents Environmental Stewardship Award to National Stormwater Trust for Its Port Tampa Bay Smart Pond

Smart Stormwater Pond Prevented 175,000+ Cubic Feet of Untreated Stormwater From Flowing Into Tampa Bay During Hurricane Ian

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (November 22, 2022) – State-of-the art ‘Smart Pond’ stormwater technology installed earlier this year adjacent to Port Tampa Bay was recently honored with the Environmental Stewardship Award from the Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation for safely capturing and preventing over 175,000 cubic feet of untreated stormwater from flowing into Tampa Bay during Hurricane Ian.

Award recipient National Stormwater Trust, Inc. (NST) primarily focuses its Smart Ponds on improving water quality. But when a storm the size of Hurricane Ian turns towards Florida, NST’s objectives shift to protecting communities and the environment from the flooding impacts of stormwater.

Prior to Hurricane Ian making landfall, the Tampa Bay area Smart Pond (State Road 45/1701 Maritime Blvd.) was lowered by almost four feet to provide extra storage capacity. This allowed for the capture of over 175,000 cubic feet of untreated stormwater, preventing it from flooding homes and businesses in the area and from flowing into Tampa Bay.

“This technology is creating a better net gain for the environment, with more nitrogen treatment, and is increasing the amount of usable space for Port Tampa Bay,” Port Tampa Bay Environmental Director Christopher Cooley said about NST Smart Ponds. “Port Tampa Bay is a leading supporter of this environmentally-friendly innovation.”

HOW SMART PONDS WORK:

Most Floridians are familiar with a traditional stormwater pond. They are all around us in residential communities, commercial and business districts, airports, seaports and similar developments. Traditional ponds hold rain and stormwater runoff. However, in large storms, these ponds often overflow and flood the surrounding area with untreated stormwater.

The latest innovation in stormwater management is to connect a pond to live weather forecast data and use that information to project water levels and, if necessary, automatically lower its water level before a storm arrives. While the sun is still shining, an NST Smart Pond can actively drain itself to increase its flood storage capacity while in constant communication with professional stormwater managers who can oversee its performance and even remotely control the pond. These are exactly the steps that National Stormwater Trust engineers took in advance of Hurricane Ian’s landfall.

Florida Recycling Award Details

“Improving stormwater quality is our primary goal, but during tropical events, it becomes a life and safety imperative to capture dangerous runoff so that it doesn’t harm Floridians, communities and our natural resources,” said Jeff Littlejohn, National Stormwater Trust Co-Founder. “We’re honored to receive the Environmental Stewardship Award, and look forward to helping more communities connect to this cutting-edge technology.”

The Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation annually recognizes companies, organizations and government entities that have made a significant impact in recycling, as well as water reuse, energy efficiency, sustainability and environmental stewardship. The award was presented during a ceremony at the Florida Capitol on November 18.

 

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ABOUT NATIONAL STORMWATER TRUST: Providing public and private organizations with unparalleled stormwater infrastructure solutions and improving water quality for the communities we serve. Visit us at www.NationalStormwater.com.

 

Smart Pond Technology in Florida

National Stormwater Trust is working with businesses, local governments, and residential communities across Florida to deploy the latest smart stormwater technology from OptiRTC, the leader in forecast-based control of stormwater infrastructure. Additional Smart Ponds are scheduled for installation in the Tampa Bay area and will soon be in communities like the LeeVista Center in Orlando, JAXPORT, Port Canaveral, and Seascape in Florida’s Panhandle, and America’s favorite retirement community – The Villages.

 

We're Proud to Partner With Some of the Top Brands In Florida

How Smart Ponds Work

Most Floridians are familiar with a traditional stormwater pond. They are all around us in residential communities, commercial and business districts, airports, seaports, and similar developments. Traditional ponds hold rain and stormwater runoff. However, in large storms, these ponds often overflow and flood the surrounding area with untreated stormwater.

 The latest innovation in stormwater management is to connect a pond to live weather forecast data and use that information to project water levels and, if necessary, automatically lower its water level before a storm arrives. While the sun is still shining, an NST Smart Pond can actively drain itself to increase its flood storage capacity while in constant communication with professional stormwater managers who can oversee its performance and even remotely control the pond. These are exactly the steps that National Stormwater Trust engineers took in advance of Hurricane Ian’s landfall in Southwest Florida.

Smart Pond Technology Successfully Tested During Hurricane Ian

babcock ranch and tampa bay region results are in

While Southwest Florida continues to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, many are looking for ways to improve the resiliency of their communities before the next large storm. One very positive story to emerge in the aftermath of the hurricane is the performance of state-of-the-art smart stormwater management technology provided by National Stormwater Trust, Inc. (NST).

Babcock Ranch, located in hard-hit Charlotte County, and Port Tampa Bay validated their decisions to invest in NST Smart Pond stormwater technology to improve resiliency.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of our six NST Smart Ponds that were in the path of Hurricane Ian. Our primary focus is on improving water quality. But when a storm of that size is headed towards Florida, our objective shifts to protecting our communities and the environment from the flooding impacts of stormwater,” said Jeff Littlejohn, National Stormwater Trust Co-Founder.

THE RESULTS ARE IN

Tampa Bay & Port Tampa Bay Area (State Road 45/1701 Maritime Blvd.)

The water level in this Smart Pond was automatically lowered by almost four feet before the first hurricane bands began to impact the region. That extra storage enabled the Smart Pond to capture over 175,000 cubic feet of untreated stormwater, preventing its discharge into the neighboring community and nearby Tampa Bay.

Babcock Ranch

NST Smart Ponds in this Southwest Florida residential community located near the Caloosahatchee River used live rainfall forecasts to project the impact of the storm before its arrival. This real-time flood forecasting capability gave the community’s leaders assurance that its large lakes had adequate storage to contain the stormwater and protect the homes, roadways, and schools.

“This confirms for the me the value of smart stormwater technology,” said Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO, Kitson & Partners. “As our community grows, we look forward to continued collaboration with NST to incorporate their Smart Pond technology.”

State-of-the-Art Smart Stormwater Management Technology Successfully Tested at Babcock Ranch and in the Tampa Bay Region During Hurricane Ian

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (October 19 or 20, 2022) – While much of Florida continues to dig out from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, many are looking for ways to improve the resiliency of their communities before the next large storm. One very positive story to emerge in the aftermath of the hurricane is the performance of state-of-the-art smart stormwater management technology provided by National Stormwater Trust, Inc. (NST).

Babcock Ranch, located in hard-hit Charlotte County, and Port Tampa Bay validated their decisions to invest in NST Smart Pond stormwater technology to improve resiliency.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of our six NST Smart Ponds that were in the path of Hurricane Ian. Our primary focus is on improving water quality. But when a storm of that size is headed towards Florida, our objective shifts to protecting our communities and the environment from the flooding impacts of stormwater,” said Jeff Littlejohn, National Stormwater Trust Co-Founder.

THE RESULTS ARE IN:

  • Tampa Bay & Port Tampa Bay Area (State Road 45/1701 Maritime Blvd.): The water level in this Smart Pond was automatically lowered by almost four feet before the first hurricane bands began to impact the region. That extra storage enabled the Smart Pond to capture over 175,000 cubic feet of untreated stormwater, preventing its discharge into the neighboring community and nearby Tampa Bay.
  • Babcock Ranch: NST Smart Ponds in this Southwest Florida residential community located near the Caloosahatchee River used live rainfall forecasts to project the impact of the storm before its arrival. This real-time flood forecasting capability gave the community’s leaders assurance that its large lakes had adequate storage to contain the stormwater and protect the homes, roadways, and schools.

“This confirms for the me the value of smart stormwater technology,” said Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO, Kitson & Partners. “As our community grows, we look forward to continued collaboration with NST to incorporate their Smart Pond technology.”

HOW SMART PONDS WORK:

Most Floridians are familiar with a traditional stormwater pond. They are all around us in residential communities, commercial and business districts, airports, seaports, and similar developments. Traditional ponds hold rain and stormwater runoff. However, in large storms, these ponds often overflow and flood the surrounding area with untreated stormwater.

The latest innovation in stormwater management is to connect a pond to live weather forecast data and use that information to project water levels and, if necessary, automatically lower its water level before a storm arrives. While the sun is still shining, an NST Smart Pond can actively drain itself to increase its flood storage capacity while in constant communication with professional stormwater managers who can oversee its performance and even remotely control the pond. These are exactly the steps that National Stormwater Trust engineers took in advance of Hurricane Ian’s landfall in Southwest Florida.

Both Babcock Ranch and Port Tampa Bay are making additional investments in Smart Pond technology to provide even greater protections from future storms.

SMART POND TECHNOLOGY IN FLORIDA:

National Stormwater Trust is working with businesses, local governments, and residential communities across Florida to deploy the latest smart stormwater technology from OptiRTC, the leader in forecast-based control of stormwater infrastructure. Additional Smart Ponds are scheduled for installation in the Tampa Bay area and will soon be in communities like the LeeVista Center in Orlando, JAXPORT, Port Canaveral, and Seascape in Florida’s Panhandle, and America’s favorite retirement community – The Villages.

Smart stormwater technology is available for others interested in improving water quality while also providing storm resilient flood protection. This is the future of stormwater management, and it’s right here in Florida.

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Tampa Bay-Area Smart Pond Hurricane Prep Underway

Converting from Water Quality to Flood Protection Status to Protect Tampa Bay, Homes and Businesses

Similar Hurricane Prep Underway at Babcock Ranch Smart Ponds

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (September 26, 2022) – The National Stormwater Trust, Inc. (NST) has activated its Hurricane Preparation Plan and is actively preparing to convert its Tampa Bay-area Smart Pond from water quality to flood protection status in order to increase stormwater storage capability for Hurricane Ian. Converting to flood protection status will allow this cutting-edge technology to better protect Tampa Bay and area homes and businesses from stormwater that will result from Hurricane Ian.

 

“Our Smart Pond technology is monitoring weather forecasts and predicting stormwater volume that will be needed to help prevent runoff from entering Tampa Bay and homes and businesses near the Bay,” said Jeff Littlejohn, National Stormwater Trust Co-Founder. “This cutting-edge technology allows us to remotely release clean water from the pond in order to make room for anticipated heavy rain and stormwater runoff from Hurricane Ian.”

 

NST and its cloud-based stormwater management system is strengthening water quality and providing flood resiliency at levels not achievable with a conventional stormwater pond. By leveraging real-time weather forecasting and automated flood controls, the water level in Smart Ponds is actively managed to maximize its water quality treatment and flood protection performance.

 

The Tampa Bay-area Smart Pond is located adjacent to Port Tampa Bay on State Road 45. Water quality and flood resiliency outcomes at the SR 45 Smart Pond are providing stronger environmental benefits for Tampa Bay over a conventional stormwater pond, including:

  •      +2.73 AC-FT in Additional Treatment Volume
  •      44% Increase in Nitrogen Removal
  •      +4.39 AC-FT Controllable Flood Attenuation Volume
  •      84% Increase in Flood Attenuation Volume

 

The SR 45 Smart Pond adjacent to Port Tampa Bay will be fully converted to flood protection status 12 hours before heavy rainfall begins.

 

NST Smart Ponds located at Babcock Ranch are undergoing similar hurricane preparation efforts, with local water managers tapping into the NST data to determine the appropriate time to lower area lakes.

 

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ABOUT NATIONAL STORMWATER TRUST: Providing public and private organizations with unparalleled stormwater infrastructure solutions and improving water quality for the communities we serve. Visit us at www.NationalStormwater.com.

Smart Water: Stormwater Ponds That Manage Themselves

Smart Water: Stormwater Ponds That Manage Themselves

Engineering News-Record
JUNE 27/JULY 4, 2022 

On June 9, a pond near Port Tampa Bay began emptying itself. The water level in the pond dropped about 10 in., emptying almost 70,000 cu ft of water into Tampa Bay. It wasn’t quite enough to catch the 2.8 in. of rain that fell in one hour on June 10, but Jeff Littlejohn, president with National Stormwater Trust (NST) considers it
a success for the group’s new Smart Pond technology.

Babcock Schools Adds NST Data to Education Curriculum

Babcock Ranch, home to three National Stormwater Trust (NST) Smart Ponds, is the first Florida community to provide educators and students the opportunity to tap into real-world problem-solving opportunities in their own backyard.

Data from the OptiRTC cloud-based software that manages stormwater at NST’s Babcock Ranch Smart Ponds, will be shared with student learners at Babcock Schools, providing them an opportunity to learn from the data and discover how it helps manage the communities most precious resource – fresh water.

SHANNON TREECE

Babcock’s surface water management system, designed with extensive input from environmental experts and in partnership with NST, takes its lead from nature. The expansive lakes, wetlands, filter marshes and rain gardens that restore natural habitat, are part of the comprehensive system that mimic nature to slow, capture and filter water as it migrates to the Caloosahatchee River.

“Babcock Schools are deeply rooted in Project-Based learning experiences that expose our student learners to real-world problem-solving opportunities. The ability to access data that is real and directly correlates to the water levels in our community provides immediate relevancy to learning. That is a game changer, it isn’t textbook data…it is Babcock Ranch data, that changes everything,” Shannon Treece, Executive Director, Babcock Schools.