Lake Ella Stormwater Facility
Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park are located in north central Tallahassee near the junction of State Road 61 and U.S. 27 (North Monroe Street). This 12 acre lake and 6.5 acre park provide benefits to our community that include a walking trail, picnic shelters, a site for community activities, flood protection and stormwater pollution control.
Lake Ella receives stormwater runoff from an urbanized watershed that is approximately 157 acres in area. During the late 1970's and into the early 1980's, flooding and water quality problems became noticeable. After a thorough study it was decided the lake would be renovated to reduce flooding and treat pollutants in stormwater. The renovation which was completed in 1986 included sediment removal, recontouring the shoreline, reducing the number of stormwater inflow pipes, and an automatic alum treatment system.
During normal water elevations the lake stores approximately 27 million gallons of water. During excessive rain events the lake can store an additional 9 million gallons of stormwater runoff. During a typical year the lake treats approximately 50 to 100 million gallons of stormwater runoff. Treatment is obtained through an automated system that doses alum at six locations where stormwater enters the lake. The dose of alum is based on the volume of stormwater flow entering the lake. Alum, which is a substance used by some communities to treat their drinking water, mixes with incoming stormwater and causes pollutants to settle to the lake bottom.
Ten separate city departments are involved in the management of the lake and park. Some departments are involved in maintaining the park and with public protection. Other departments are involved with maintaining the pipes which channel stormwater to the lake, the fountain, and the automated equipment. Through a cooperative effort Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park are maintained and operated for the enjoyment of our community and for the visitors to Tallahassee.
The COT contact persons for information regarding the Lake Ella stormwater facility are Mark Heidecker and Geoff Watts at 891.6860.