Baffle Box in Melbourne is biggest east of Mississippi

FOX 35 News went to Cliff Creek in Melbourne on Thursday to see the making of what is known as a "Baffle Box."  

It's a major project that has been in development for years. When it is complete, the box will help keep the water of the Indian River Lagoon clean by removing nearly 4,000 pounds of nitrogen and nearly 800 pounds of phosphorus each year. Those are the nutrients that bring troublesome algae blooms. 

Dani Straub is the Head of the Engineering Department for the City of Melbourne.  She explained how the filter works.

 "So it's basically a great big concrete box...stormwater enters in from one end and then exits out the other," she said.  "Our boxes have screens, so all of the trash, the leaf debris -- the crud that people throw out of the windows that get washed down into the drains into the streams -- gets traped." 

Melbourne has seven baffle boxes already.  This latest one will make eight, and number eight is the biggest Baffle Box of them all. Then three more are coming.  The work at Cliff Creek should be done by May.

"Their internal parts are all stainless steel, so we don’t have to worry about them rusting, and we have a maintenance schedule of once a month," Straub said.

Back in 2016, voters in Brevard County approved a surtax to channel money towards improving the Indian River Lagoon and that’s what’s happening right now.