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Florida Water Star Technical Manual

Landscape criteria

Florida Water Star Gold best practices criteria

Terrace, swale or berm adjacent to water bodies

Home with seawall

This waterfront home has a swale, a berm and a seawall.


On-site treatment of storm water reduces nutrient loading to water bodies. The creation of vegetated depressed areas for catching, holding and treating storm water in areas adjacent to a water body can prevent nutrients from entering the water body.

Home Site Diagram
Earth Shaping to Prevent Runoff

Source for illustrations:
Southwest Florida Water Management District

Requirements and certification

Unirrigated vegetated terraces, swales or berms are used to prevent storm water from entering the water body. (A letter of modification to an environmental resource permit may be required by the applicant to achieve these points.)





Up to 10 points


All vegetated catchment areas must be unirrigated after plant establishment. Temporary irrigation for establishment is acceptable.

The Inspector must confirm that the stormwater treatment system is installed. The Inspector awards points based upon the percentage of the waterfront portion of the property that has a terrace, swale or berm. Program staff will assist in the assignment of these points.

To prevent unforeseen adverse effects, such as flooding to adjacent properties, caution should be taken in the design of any on-site stormwater treatment structure. The relevant agency (Florida Department of Environmental Protection or water management district) compliance letter should be submitted with other documents via e-Certification.

St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177