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    City of Port St. Lucie

    Excerpt from Port St. Lucie Municipal Code

    Title XV- Land Usage Article III- Soil and Water

    Sec 157.22 Stormwater Management

    (A) Stormwater runoff peak discharge rate, volumes, and pollutant loadings shall be managed to minimize the adverse impacts of erosion, sedimentation, flooding, and water pollution to protect surface water, groundwater, and other natural resources.

    (B) The design, construction, and performance of all surface water management systems shall be in compliance with applicable federal and state regulations, requirements of the South Florida Water Management District, and the requirements of this Code. In all cases, the strictest of the applicable standards shall apply.

    (D) Standards for the stormwater management plan, design, and calculations shall be in accordance with the Engineering Standards for Land Development. Stormwater systems shall be designed to meet the city's adopted level of service for drainage as follows:

    1. The level of service adopted for stormwater management facilities for existing surface water management systems shall be as shown in the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) permit governing said system.
    2. Systems without a permit shall be as shown in SFWMD rules in effect at the time of the system's original construction.


    Stormwater Treatment Areas

    Stormwater Treatment Areas, or STAs, are constructed wetlands that remove and store nutrients through plant growth and the accumulation of dead plant material that is slowly converted to a layer of peat soil. Five STAs south of Lake Okeechobee are now removing excess nutrients from agricultural runoff water and, in some cases, runoff from urban tributaries, before discharging it into the Everglades and other natural areas. Two more STAs north of Lake Okeechobee are now in the planning stage.

    At present, these STAs south of Lake Okeechobee have an effective treatment area of 57,000 acres, which includes STA expansions completed in 2012 in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) that added nearly 12,000 acres of treatment wetlands. North and east of Lake Okeechobee, STAs are also used to remove phosphorus from water flowing into the lake, St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.

    Urban Best Management Practices

    Cities and communities also contribute nutrients and other pollutants to our region's rivers, lakes and wetlands. Storm water flowing over city streets or the rich green lawns and gardens that fill our urban and suburban landscapes can carry excess nutrients from the fertilizers and herbicides we use, as well as all the other contaminants that are a by-product of modern life.

    Local governments and developers are also required to adopt Stormwater Best Management Practices, or BMPs, that make sure that water flowing into our natural ecosystems is cleaner. These BMPs include keeping direct urban stormwater runoff away from waterways, retaining and cleaning stormwater or irrigation water "on-site" and reducing the amount of water used for irrigation, as well as the type and quantity of fertilizers and pesticides or herbicides used on our landscapes

    Additional Links

    Port St. Lucie Municipal Code

    South FL Water Management District

    South FL BMP Manual