A History of Innovation & Excellence
Jupiter Inlet as it looked in 1971. Also in 1971, at the request of concerned citizens and the Loxahatchee Council of Governments, the State Legislature created the Loxahatchee River Environmental Control District (LRD), charged with the mission to preserve and protect the Loxahatchee River.
LRD Governing Board members (left to right: Bill Lund, Trudy Bernhard, Norm Badenhop, Jimmy Bassett, and John Harlow) at the ground breaking for the new regional wastewater treatment facility. The LRD Governing Board is composed of five members that reside within the LRD boundary. Board Members are publicly elected, and serve four year terms.
LRD’s initial staff operates out of a small store front on Indiantown Road just west of Loxahatchee Drive.
The LRD installs critical wastewater transmission infrastructure at the intersection of Indiantown Road and Center Street. Through regular repair and maintenance, these pipes continue to serve our customers.
LRD staff (Pete Pimentel and Rick Dent) collaborates with SFWMD to deliver additional flows to the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River through the newly constructed G-92 structure.
Burt Reynolds and Sally Field star in Smokey and the Bandit, which featured classic scenes filmed in Jupiter. Also in 1977, the LRD’s regional wastewater treatment facility began operations with 1,000 customers.
Under the guidance of the former Executive Director J. Roger Anderson, the LRD created an in-house Engineering Department. Construction Standards and Technical Specifications document was published to promote transparent and consistent communication with the public.
LRD’s neighborhood sewering program works proactively to convert homes from on-site septic systems to the regional sewer system. Elimination of septic systems reduces pollution from entering our groundwater and the Loxahatchee River.
LRD decommissions several small, community-based wastewater treatment systems along the river, to prevent untreated wastewater discharges into the river.
Through proactive community efforts, the US Department of the Interior designates the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River Florida’s first National Wild & Scenic River.
Treated wastewater discharges to the river are eliminated with the creation of an innovative wastewater recycling program. LRD’s Irrigation Quality (IQ) water is used to meet irrigation needs at local golf courses.
The regional wastewater treatment plant capacity is expanded from 4 million gallons a day to 8 million gallons a day.
LRD reaches 15,000 customers.
LRD is recognized by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for Innovations in State and Local Government.
The WildPine Ecological Laboratory is established on the grounds of the facility. Today lab staff oversee environmental compliance testing for the wastewater treatment operations as well as environmental monitoring (e.g., water quality, oysters, seagrass) within the Loxahatchee River.
The Jupiter Marine Science Center is created to offer environmental education and volunteer opportunities for the public and local students.
Computer probes are placed in the river to create the first continuous water quality monitoring program.
Friends of the Loxahatchee River, a non-profit organization, is founded with the mission to encourage public involvement in river preservation efforts, to offer environmental educational opportunities, and to support aquatic research and restoration efforts.
LRD’s Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Network is established allowing residents to actively participate in water quality monitoring throughout the watershed.
LRD receives EPA’s National Award for Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Facility.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency names the Loxahatchee River District “Best in Nation” for innovative and safe regional wastewater treatment.
David Hitzig, Executive Director of Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, gives a tour at their Grand Opening following their move to the grounds of the Loxahatchee River District.
LRD is a founding member of the Loxahatchee River Preservation Initiative (LRPI). Over the next 11 years the LRPI will achieve over $34 million in environmental enhancement projects within the Loxahatchee River watershed!
SFWMD determines 35 cubic feet per second as the minimum flow necessary to maintain the integrity of the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River, and establishes a Recovery Plan to meet the minimum flow target.
Restoration Plan for the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River is co-authored by LRD.
The regional wastewater treatment facility expanded treatment capacity from 9 million gallons a day to 11 million gallons a day. LRD now serves more than 75,000 people in Northern Palm Beach County and southern Martin County.
LRD opens the River Center as the first environmental education center dedicated to the Loxahatchee River.
LRD partners with the Nature Conservancy, NOAA, and Jupiter High’s Environmental Academy to conduct a community-based oyster restoration program in the Loxahatchee River estuary.
The District recycling efforts are expanded to include a new bio solids recycling program. The facility is co-located with the North County Landfill (Jog Road and the Turnpike), and uses methane gas from the landfill to fuel the recycling process.
With NOAA funding, Martin County and LRD collaborate to restore nearly 6 acres of oyster reefs in the river.
Loxahatchee River District is presented with the David W. York Water Reuse Award from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Water Environment Association. This annual award is given to the best water reuse system state-wide.
The Loxahatchee River District celebrates 40 years of preserving the Loxahatchee River.