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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing clean and safe drinking water. For the previous year's sampling results please click here. To notify the city regarding water treatment concerns contact: Patrick Timoney, Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, Phn: 904.825.1044, Fax: 904.823-2280, Email: email@example.com; or firstname.lastname@example.org, or write the City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
What we now know as Maria Sanchez Lake was known prior to the 1880’s as Maria Sanchez Creek. It was a salt water creek which meandered from King St. which was then a wetland area, to the Matanzas River. Bridge St. which runs east and west was aptly named because at that point a bridge crossed the creek.
During the 1880’s Heth Canfield, a local developer and the president of the St. Augustine Improvement Company, petitioned the city to dredge the creek to create the Maria Sanchez Lake and fill in the wetlands area roughly north from Bridge to King St. along Cordova St. He did this in conjunction with Henry Flagler who then ordered the construction of the Hotel Ponce de Leon (now Flagler College) and the Alcazar Hotel which is now City Hall and the Lightner Museum.
Fast forward to the year 2006--the Maria Sanchez Lake Weir Gate Installation Project is now complete although it will take another full year to evaluate the effectiveness of the overall project.
Originally the project began as a means to reduce the flooding problem in the area of Cordova and Granada streets which naturally drains to the lake. But the project gradually evolved to incorporate environmental considerations since there were regular algae blooms which killed the fish in the sensitive lake area.
The southernmost point of the lake is divided from the marshy area of Maria Sanchez Creek by a concrete weir or dam. The valves of the system corroded shut more than 20 years ago. Increasing the tidal flushing of the lake would improve the aquatic ecological system within it because it would introduce higher dissolved oxygen levels, normalize the temperature and the pH level...all of which play a strong roll in maintaining a healthy fish habitat.
Further, since the condition of the old weir limited movement of the stormwater to only over the weir, the old valve system needed to be replaced so that in the event of rain and associated flooding, the gate levels could be adjusted to move water from the lake into the marshy area of the creek.
The new weir gate system includes two water level sensors (one for the lake and one for the salt marsh) and a pH, dissolved oxygen and temperature sensor for the lake only. The system is remotely controlled and relays information about the marsh and the lake to a computer in City Hall.
The data from the sensors will be continually recorded and stored for future analysis. The computer will also be used to send a signal to elevate or lower the gates of the weir in order to regulate the water levels between the tidal water (marshy area) and the lake itself.
The City of St. Aug-ustine and the area residents want Maria Sanchez Lake to be healthy and perform its work as a natural drainage system for the Maria Sanchez Lake basin. As a bonus, the neighborhood will be able to understand the complete aquatic ecological system which is so important to the City of St. Augustine and its residents.
For further information on this project, please call 825.1040.