Public Lab is an open community which collaboratively develops accessible, open source, Do-It-Yourself technologies for investigating local environmental health and justice issues.
In early June, 2018, a group of us from the Pensacola NAACP, and other interested parties got together to begin to explore some of the stormwater issues in Pensacola.
### Our main concern:
Pensacola has a stormwater and flooding problem. The problems related to stormwater issues in Pensacola are two fold: regular rain events cause flooding, and stormwater is the number one polluter of Pensacola Bay.
### Obstacles and supporting information:
**What we know about the flooding problem:**
- The stormwater infrastructure in Pensacola, can’t handle much rain.
- Washer womans’ creek was covered up and paved over, it is now a place of heavy flooding.
- Low lying and flood prone areas are also areas that are under development and scoped for new development. This construction will increase the problems related to stormwater.
- The lower income communities are more flood prone than other more affluent communities around the county.
- There are some areas that were fixed by elevating buildings and putting in bigger storm drain pipes.
- Not cleaning out the stormwater drains contributes to the flooding problem.
- Stormwater flooding costs people and businesses money. People pay for this problem through insurances, property loss, and taxes.
**What we know about the pollution problem:**
- If it doesn't come out of the sky then it’s an illicit discharge into the drain.
- Stormwater is regulated under NPDES, however not everyone follows the permits
- There is a superfund site in a low lying area that floods.
### Who is engaged in this concern?
The city/county deals with the stormwater, but ECUA deals with sewer, things end up stuck in bureaucracy between the two entities. Stormwater violations can be collected by people and reported with photographs to DEP and 311.
### What are the initial questions?