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Combating Stormwater Pollution

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The City of Port St. Lucie is dedicated to combating stormwater pollution by adopting best management practices and by educating the public about healthy household habits that can greatly reduce the pollution that ends up in the city's stormwater.

Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are methods that have been determined to be the most effective, practical means of preventing or reducing pollution of non-point sources from entering into our city's stormwater system and our surface waters. Some of the BMPs that the City practices are:

  • Treatment ponds to remove pollutants from stormwater
  • Operating and maintenance procedures
  • Stormwater education
  • Management practices to control runoff from spills or leaks of non-stormwater
  • Erosion and sediment control practices
  • Any other similar actions as the Department of Environmental Protection or the City determines appropriate and necessary for the control of pollutants

Healthy Household Habits for Clean Water

As a resident, you can help by following these healthy household habits:

Vehicle and Garage

  • Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and eventually into your local water body.
  • Check your car, boat, motorcycle, and other machinery and equipment for leaks and spills. Make repairs as soon as possible. Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand, and don't rinse the spills into a nearby storm drain. Remember to properly dispose of the absorbent material.
  • Recycle used oil and other automotive fluids at participating service stations or at the City Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day events. Don't dump these chemicals down the storm drain or dispose of them in your trash.

Lawn and Garden

  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. When necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Avoid application if the forecast calls for rain; otherwise, chemicals will be washed into your local stream.
  • Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant. Native plants require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
  • Sweep up yard debris, rather than hosing down areas. Compost or recycle yard waste when possible.
  • Don't over water your lawn. Water during the cool times of the day, and don't let water run off into the storm drain. Follow South Florida Water Management District regulations.
  • Cover piles of dirt and mulch being used in landscaping projects to prevent these pollutants from blowing or washing off your yard and into local water bodies. Vegetate bare spots in your yard to prevent soil erosion.
  • Pick up and properly dispose of pet waste.

Home Repair and Improvement

  • Before beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials.
  • Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
  • Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents, and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible, and follow the directions on the label. Clean up spills immediately, and dispose of the waste safely. Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
  • Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable products whenever possible.
  • Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess oil-based paints through a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day event, or donate unused paints to local organizations. Latex (or water-based) paint is NOT considered hazardous waste but it can cause hazardous conditions to the public if not properly dried out before disposal. All latex paint must be solidified prior to collection by Waste Pro so that the paint does not leak from the garbage trucks onto our roads and ultimately other vehicles. We recommend using cat litter to dry up any unwanted latex paint. Another option is to air dry in sunny conditions for several days before setting out for disposal. If you have additional questions about latex paint disposal, please contact Waste Pro.
  • Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area in your yard. Use native plants in your landscaping to reduce the need for watering during dry periods. Consider directing downspouts away from paved surfaces onto lawns and other measures to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.