20 Years of Water Quality Improvements


Twenty years ago today, the City of Gainesville Public Works Department installed the city’s first baffle box. A total of four baffle boxes were installed during the project to filter out sediments from stormwater entering the Sweetwater Branch.

Public Works Inspector Richard Gawley, seen in the picture below leaning on an excavator, helped install the baffle box. “It was one of the biggest undertakings during my time on the pipe crew,” said Gawley.

Gainesville Sun article from 1996

In the last 20 years, Public Works has made water quality improvement projects a priority. Over time, these projects have utilized newer forms of sediment removal technology that are more effective and efficient than that first baffle box. Retention ponds and wetland treatment are key features in many projects, including the Duck Pond, Sweetwater Wetlands Park and Depot Park. Additionally, they are multi-functional in terms of public use by creating spaces that not only help our watersheds, but also serve as recreation areas.

For more information on Gainesville waterways, please visit the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership (GCWP) website at GCWP is dynamic, successful partnership between the City of Gainesville, Alachua County and the Florida Department of Transportation to support and fulfill requirements of the Clean Water Act. For up to date news on their programs and events, please like GCWP on Facebook at or follow on Twitter at