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 preventing untreated stormwater from flowing into Tampa Bay during Hurricane Ian.

Here’s how NST’s Smart Ponds work: They use 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 Smart Ponds are in development at JAXPORT, Port Canaveral and The Villages, among other locations.