The City of Sebastian has taken a proactive approach to implement an in-house water monitoring and testing program. In May 2014, the City hired an Environmental Specialist to handle the collection and testing of the nine storm water discharge locations within the City which drain into the Sebastian River and the sensitive and impacted Indian River Lagoon. The City believes in being a good environmental steward by taking the lead on environmental issues and monitoring water quality discharges into the Sebastian River and Indian River Lagoon. As a good steward, the City ratified a new water quality ordinance to meet the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to ensure good environmental stewardship of the Sebastian River and the impacted Indian River Lagoon. Since May 2014, the City began monitoring and testing samples of storm water at several drainage outfalls into the Sebastian River and Indian River Lagoon. At the initial stage of this program, the testing equipment was limited to test only for nitrates pollutants. The environmental specialist performed laboratory tests of water samples to determine the concentration of Phosphorous and Total Nitrogen. The water monitoring program provides the City of Sebastian with an effective tool to actually track and monitor the amount of pollutants from
the City’s storm water discharge locations.
Education and promotion, to the community, is part of the City’s water monitoring and testing program. The Environmental Specialist educates the community on the effects of elicit discharge and how it impacts the Indian River Lagoon. The City’s Environmental Specialist has attended several public events like the Pelican Island Festival and Earth Day to hand out brochures and explain the City’s water quality program. It was felt that this was quite unique for a local agency to step up and test water samples of storm water discharge to determine the local impacts to a regional water body of the Indian River Lagoon.