SFWMD Jump-Starts C-44 Reservoir's Environmental Benefits in Martin County
Submitted by Nancy Smith on February 12, 2018 - 5:59pm
The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board approved the purchase pumps last week to help realize environmental benefits for the St. Lucie Estuary more than two years before the C-44 Reservoir is set to be completed.
The Governing Board unanimously voted to spend $1.2 million to buy four 42-inch pumps that will send water to the C-44 Stormwater Treatment Area (STA). This water allows vegetation, necessary for the STA to naturally clean excess nutrients such as phosphorus from that water, to initially establish. Without these pumps, the District would have had to wait until the reservoir is completed to start growing wetland plants capable of treating water.
"This is the kind of innovative thinking and implementation that the St. Lucie Estuary needs for its protection," said SFWMD Governing Board member and Martin County resident Brandon Tucker in a press statement. "This board is an action board. We relish the opportunity to advance environmental restoration and realize benefits sooner."
SFWMD is expected to complete the STA and pump station components of the project in September. The station will treat local stormwater runoff from the C-44 basin and discharge it back to the C-44 Canal. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is building the associated reservoir expected to be able to store 50,000 acre-feet of local basin runoff, is scheduled to complete its work by 2020.