Bluewater United

Exploratory BWB Stormwater Committee

Initiative Description:

On October 11, 2022, the Bluewater Bay Municipal Services Benefit Unit (BWB MSBU) created an “Exploratory Stormwater Committee” in response to a BUF stormwater presentation to the MSBU.

The “Exploratory BWB Stormwater Committee” will investigate BWB’s stormwater infrastructure, its owners/stakeholders, its remaining usable life, and options for its management via a BWB municipal service.


It is in the best interest of the BWB community to organize and proactively manage its stormwater infrastructure which is at, or nearing, the “end of usable life”. If the management of this critical infrastructure is not addressed, the cost and timeline for stormwater infrastructure repair and refurbishment will be significantly higher to the BWB community when age related failures are realized. The BWB MSBU has the scope and ability to establish this community service for the benefit of the BWB community.

  • There is currently no established organization that manages BWB stormwater infrastructure and assists in coordinating repairs between the numerous public and private stormwater owners/stakeholders.
  • Re-development of the BWB golf course to residential housing and its approach to include existing aged golf course stormwater lakes and associated infrastructure as “common area” to the new subdivision essentially transfers the ownership and liability for 20–30 year old golf course stormwater infrastructure to a limited number of new home owners. The majority of BWB stormwater lakes are on the BWB golf course or previous golf course.
  • The threat of a major storm impacting BWBs aging stormwater system is significant. Much of BWB is a low-lying coastal area that was drained by creating stormwater lakes as a part of the BWB golf course. The existing stormwater infrastructure within BWB is contained within several drainage basins and is a set of land parcels owned by both private and public (Okaloosa County) entities. The stormwater infrastructure contained within each basin operate as a system and are currently not managed as a system. This will become a major issue when a portion of the system fails, and the repair requires modification of the entire stormwater system when there is no plan, funding, or capability to coordinate a system level repair across several owners.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) (see Stormwater Infrastructure | ASCE’s 2021 Infrastructure Report Card) states the following about stormwater “Condition and Capacity”:
    The condition of stormwater infrastructure is indicated, in part, by the system’s age. Without better stormwater asset records, the average age of the system cannot be directly determined, so the lifespan of the primary construction material is used as a proxy. Stormwater conveyance systems may be constructed of corrugated metal, reinforced concrete, or plastic, and their lifespan is projected to be 50 to 100 years. Storage and treatment systems such as detention and retention ponds have an average lifespan between 20 to 30 years. Based on this, systems constructed in the 1990s or prior have exceeded or are nearing the end of their useful lives and are likely undersized given modern stormwater management practices.

    Since the Bluewater Bay Golf Course was developed in the 1980-90s, and according to the ASCE useful life definition, it can be stated the stormwater retention ponds within and around the golf course have reached the end of their useful life.


Establishment of the MSBU “Exploratory Stormwater Committee” unites the BWB community and facilitates cooperation between Okaloosa County, BWB developers, local BWB HOAs, private lake owners, and civic groups to develop and implement a BWB Stormwater Management Plan. The committee will reach out to stormwater infrastructure owners/stakeholders and explore options for funding a BWB stormwater maintenance and reserve account. This would be a proactive account to fund BWB stormwater management and emergency repair. Various funding mechanisms for this account would be evaluated including voluntary private/public funding agreements, MSBU special assessments, federal and state grant opportunities, and other funding mechanisms. This effort would include extensive community engagement to finalize several funding options to be presented to the BWB community and MSBU for review and comment.

Specific Initiatives That Are Currently Active

Graphical Information System (GIS) for Stormwater Data

Fund Raising Goal – $2,500

Stormwater Engineering Study

Fund Raising Goal – $15,000 and 2-5 volunteer support staff

Community Stormwater Partnerships

Fund Raising Goal – $15,000 and 5-10 volunteer support staff

Bluewater United Foundation