This fee provides funding for the maintenance of the drainage system throughout the entire City of Port St. Lucie.
What number do I call if my driveway culvert is rusting out and causing my concrete to crack?
Driveway culverts and concrete maintenance and repairs are the homeowner's responsibility.
Which department do I call if the cross street culvert is blocked, crushed or blocking the flow of stormwater?
The Public Works Department has a street culvert replacement program in progress. We can also assist in answering other questions or concerns regarding blockage or culvert failure. Please contact our department at (772) 871-5100.
Who do I call if the ditch in front of my house (swale) is holding water and not draining?
If you are experiencing standing water in your swale or liner for longer than seven days after the last rain, please contact the Public Works Department at (772) 871-5100.
What are organic fertilizers? Are they a better choice?
Yes, organic fertilizer nutrients come from only the remains or by-product of an organism. Organic fertilizers rely on soil organisms to break them down to release nutrients, and usually this occurs over a long period of time. Organic fertilizers release at a slower rate than traditional quick release fertilizers. It might take a while longer for the nutrients to be released to the plant, but typically lawns and landscapes grown with organic fertilizers can produce plants with a higher tolerance for drought, disease, and insect resistance. Using organic fertilizers also costs less and takes up less time.
What is the function of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium?
Nitrogen, which helps with the development of chlorophyll, is what gives plants their green foliage. Phosphorus helps with bloom development. Potassium aids with photosynthesis and controls the exchange of carbon dioxide.
What would over-fertilization mean for my yard and water quality?
Using too much fertilizer and applying it improperly are the biggest problems with fertilizer and water quality. Too much fertilizer is more likely to find its way into local water sources or groundwater. Too much fertilizer can also harm your lawn and landscape by burning or wilting plants.
If I decide to use fertilizer, how can I use it without harming our water?
First, use fertilizers that do not violate the fertilizer ordinance, no phosphorous (15-0-15) and at least 50% Slow Release Nitrogen. Select the right type of fertilizer for your lawn and landscape. Consider that much of Florida's soil contains plenty of phosphorus so you may not need to add this nutrient; only add during non-blackout months with a verified soil test showing a phosphorus deficiency. Second, apply fertilizer only when you really need it, if you need it at all. Make sure not to over-fertilize, as this can harm your lawn and cause runoff into local waters. Third, apply the fertilizer properly, being careful to avoid spills and avoid bodies of water.
Why is using a slow-release fertilizer better than a regular (fast-release) form?
A slow-release form controls the nitrogen's release, which lessens the chance of nutrients getting into the water resources (groundwater, lakes, bays, etc.). Slow-release forms also need fewer applications because they release the nitrogen slowly over longer periods of time. Regular (quick- release) fertilizer is more likely to reach water resources as they release nitrogen very quickly, and are more susceptible to runoff and leaching into groundwater.
When is the best time to fertilize?
The best time is twice a year, during spring (April/May) and fall (October/November). There is a blackout period in the summer from June 1- September 30, where fertilizers containing Nitrogen or Phosphorous cannot be used. During the summer it is recommended to use Summer Safe Products like iron to green up the lawn without getting the excess growth provided by nitrogen.
If the Fertilizer Ordinance says I cannot use fertilizer, why are the stores still selling it?
Recent laws prevent City governments from regulating when and what fertilizers retailers can sell. It is the responsibility of the applicator to abide by all regulations set forth in the City of Port St. Lucie fertilizer ordinance. Violations of the fertilizer ordinance can result in monetary fines.
Does the Fertilizer Ordinance affect potted plants?
No, the Ordinance does not apply to potted plants.
Can I ask my landscaper what kind of fertilizer they use on my lawn?
Absolutely. Your landscaper should be able and willing to tell you what components (N, P, K, etc.) are in the fertilizer they use on your property. You should also ask your landscaper if they know about the ordinance, and refer them to the City of Port St. Lucie webpage for more information.
How do I know if my fertilizer is 50% slow release nitrogen?
How do I know which fertilizer to use at what time of the year?
Fertilizers with phosphorous (N-P-K) are not allowed unless you have obtained a soil test that indicates a phosphorous deficiency. The results of the soil test must be made available if requested. From June 1 - September 30 fertilizers with nitrogen or phosphorous cannot be applied, as this is the rainy season and blackout period for the City of Port St. Lucie. During this period Summer Safe products like compost and micronutrient amendments (Fe, Mg, Mn, K) are recommended.
Is my grass going to turn brown without regular fertilizer application?
Not necessarily, not all lawns require nitrogen & phosphorous to be healthy. Nutrients such as iron can be used to green-up lawns without the excess growth nitrogen provides.
I have reclaimed water. Should I use fertilizer?
Nutrient levels in reclaimed water are much higher than in other irrigation water sources; therefore, if irrigating with reclaimed water you may not need additional fertilizer. While reclaimed water offers many benefits, it also can lead to landscaping and pollution problems if not properly managed. Contact your reclaimed water supplier to get information on nutrient content.
Can I be fined if I use fertilizer that is not allowed?
The blackout period coincides with our rainy season. From June 1- September 30 our weather is unpredictable and rain is very frequent. The landscapes don’t have enough time to absorb the nutrients before a shower washes them off your property and into the nearest waterbody, contributing to algae blooms and fish kills.
Why is the Fertilizer Ordinance only for nitrogen & phosphorous and not all fertilizers?
Nitrogen and phosphorous are the two nutrients that are most commonly found in excess in waterbodies, contributing to algae blooms and fish kills. Fertilizers are labeled N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium). Make sure your fertilizer is in compliance with the ordinance.
The newly installed street light shines directly into my window. What can be done to redirect the light?
The resident can contact FPL and request they come out and block the light from shining into their home. In previous instances, FPL has gone out and either put up a barrier/shield or painted the section of the light shining into the home black so that it still lights up the street but not the home.
The street light was not placed where it was shown on the map. Why not?
FPL has final authorization for the placement of the proposed lights. If they determine a different location for the streetlight they will relocate the proposed light. FPL is not required to ask or even advise the City of said relocation. This does not happen often but does happen periodically. FPL always has the final say on light placement.
To install a new street light, who is responsible to trim or remove trees?
If there are trees needing to be trimmed to facilitate the installation of the new streetlight, FPL will contact the Public Works Department who will then contact a licensed and insured arborist to trim the necessary branches/trees.
What if the power poles are located at rear of my property?
A new pole must be installed at the front of the property along the road to allow for the streetlight to be installed. The power supply will be taken from the back of the property to the front. Normally FPL will run wires in between two lots/properties in order to accomplish this.
Who decides the placement of the street lights?
The City’s Public Works Department proposes the lighting layout map using existing poles, transformers & outdoor lights where possible. Florida Power & Light has the final say when they begin installation.
There are 20 lots on my street, does that mean I need 11 yes votes to win a street light election?
Not necessarily. The election results are counted based on the number of ballots returned. If only 12 ballots are returned, 7 in favor and 5 against, the election is successful. If 12 ballots are returned, 6 in favor and 6 against, the election fails.
Do owners of vacant properties get to vote on streetlights?
Yes, all property owners are mailed a ballot to cast their vote for streetlights.
Can anyone request street lights?
No, only the property owner of record can request street lights for that street.
If I don't want to adopt a street how can I help?
We encourage property owners to consider picking up trash/litter along the public way near their homes. If this is an activity that you would like to consider, please call us at (772) 871-5103 so that we can provide you with safety requirements for conducting this activity. We would also like to recognize your neighborhood efforts by registering you in our program.
Where can I pick up an Adopt-a-Street application?
An application can be picked up at the Public Works Department located at 450 SW Thornhill Dr., Port St. Lucie, FL 34984. We can also mail the application. Our phone number is (772) 871-5103.
Is there a cost to participate in the Adopt-a-Street program?
All that is needed is your time and willingness to conduct litter cleanups at least 12 times a year. Public Works will provide you with the litter tongs, trash bags, safety vest, training, and pickup service in order to dispose of the collected waste.
What do I do with the trash/litter picked up?
Once you have conducted your cleanup, you will need to complete a Litter Removal Form. There is a question on the form asking if you need to have the trash bags picked up by the city. Simply check the box when you submit the form, and pickup will be arranged.
How often will I be required to clean the street that I'm considering for adoption?
We ask that Adopt-a-Street litter cleanups be conducted at least twelve times a year. We encourage litter collection as frequently as possible.
How do I find out what streets are available for adoption?
KPSLB staff can assist you with the search and identification of an acceptable location for adoption. Call us at (772) 871-5103 for assistance.
What is required to qualify an adopted street?
It is recommended that one mile of street be considered for adoption. This helps to reduce the annual cost of manufacturing and maintaining the signs that are posted along the roadway.
If I notice any illicit discharges into the St. Lucie River or into the City's drainage system (canals, lakes, ditches), is there a number I can call to report it?
Yes. Call the City's stormwater pollution hotline 24 hours a day at (772) 344-4319. Any illegal dumping, whether it is oil, paint, dirt, trash, muddy water, etc., can be called into this hotline.
What is a SWPPP, and do I need this when I submit plans?
SWPPP stands for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. This plan includes all of the Best Management Practices that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends. The SWPPP can be submitted alone or all the information from the FDEP's Generic SWPPP must be incorporated into the construction plans.
What is an NOI and where can I get it?
An NOI stands for Notice of Intent. It is required to issue an Engineering Permit for projects greater than one acre. The NOI needs to be filled out and sent to FDEP (Federal Department of Environmental Protection) to work under the Generic Permit for Stormwater Discharge from Large and Small Construction Activities.
NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. It is a program that was developed in 1972. It was originally put into place to focus on reducing pollutants in discharges from industrial wastewater and municipal sewage. In 1987, there was an amendment called the "Water Quality Act" that established a phased approach to stormwater permitting. Phase 1 was for municipalities with more than 100,000 people and construction activities more than five acres. Phase 2, which took place in May 2003, is for municipalities with less than 100,000 people and construction activities of more than one acre. Port Saint Lucie is under Phase 2.
What requirements are necessary to get a bond on a residential property?
A bond is used if there is a critical need, such as no sod available or no liner available to complete the house. You need to contact the Public Works Department (772) 871-5177 for this request. Our department will review this, to make sure that it qualifies for a bond. If it qualifies, we will contact you and let you know the dollar amount of the bond. Bonding is covered in the City Code under Section 150.402(3).
The amount of the bond is determined by the City Engineer and it will be double the cost of the actual work. You will then come into our department with a check and a letter of request for the bond. You should have the name, address and phone number of your company on the letter, along with the legal description and address of the property being bonded. Once this is completed, you will have 30 days to complete this property (Please contact our department if an extension is required). When the property is ready, call our department to schedule an inspection. After our inspection has been signed off, we will release the bond check back to you. Please allow one to two weeks for the release of this check from our Finance Department. We will contact you once the check has arrived in our department.
The side lot swales are too deep and cannot maintain the 3:1 slope off of the house. What can I do?
Many graders choose to install 6" diameter sch40 PVC pipe to solve the problem. If you choose to do this, please contact the Public Works Department (772) 871-5177 to have an inspection done, after the pipe has been installed. Make sure to keep the pipe exposed, since the grades and joints need to be inspected prior to backfill, and prior to any Public Works inspection for the rest of the property.
I am having drainage issues on my property. Who do I call?
Below lists the department to be contacted, depending on the location of the issue:
If the houses that are under construction are causing a drainage problem in front swales or backyards with homeowners next to them, contact the Building Department at (772) 871-5132.
If there are common swale complaints from homeowners (not from houses under construction), contact Public Works at (772) 871-5100.
Any other drainage complaints in backyards from homeowners, contact the Public Works Department at (772) 871-5177.
Please give at least 72 hours to allow the water to recede before calling.
I would like to modify my driveway. Do I need to submit to the Public Works Department?
A Driveway Permit is necessary when you modify the driveway in the right-of-way. You will need to submit a site plan showing the location and the size of the modification. Please download a copy of the Driveway Modification Application form, which is required with each modification submitted. Once the paperwork is submitted, it is given to our inspectors, who go to the site to inspect the condition of the culvert pipe. We will contact you to let you know if the culvert pipe will need to be replaced.
**Please note that the existing driveway cannot be taken out and modifications cannot be done prior to approval of the driveway modification permit. For more information, you may also call the Public Works Department at (772) 871-5177.
I am a contractor and would like to get a courtesy inspection. How can I do this?
If you are at the Final Grade stage and cannot get the property to slope properly, call the Public Works Department (772) 871-5177 to schedule a courtesy inspection. A Public Works representative will go to the job, at their earliest convenience, and take a look at the job site. The Public Works representative will then contact you with several options to get the property to grade properly. You can then choose which option to use for the job site. A second inspection does not need to be done at this point.
I noticed that the inspectors came out and did the residential driveway stakeout. Where do I get stakeout information?
Once the driveway stakeout is completed, you can come to the Public Works Department to pick up the culvert stakeout cut sheet. They are located in the front lobby of the department on the wall rack alphabetically. If you have supplied an email address, the stakeout information can be emailed once completed (at your request).
I found a rejection slip at my job site today. If I pay the fee before 2:45 p.m., can I get it reinspected the next day?
Yes, as long as the schedule for the next day is not already full. Just be sure that the contractor has addressed all rejection issues before rescheduling. As a note, these fees can now be paid online.
I have a Residential Engineering inspection scheduled. How can I find out the results?
Check the job site to see if your permit card was signed or a rejection slip was left. Permit cards should be in the permit box. If you do not see either of these, you can call the Public Works Department at (772) 871-5177 after 3:00 p.m. The results will be posted to the PANDA system after 4:00 p.m.
Am I able to schedule residential inspections online?
No. You can schedule inspections by calling the Public Works Department at (772) 871-5177. Inspections should be scheduled no later than 2:45 p.m. to have it set for the next business day. If a reinspect fee needs to be paid, this portion can be done online (we receive email confirmation that the fee has been paid). This fee needs to be paid prior to calling for the reinspection.
After I submit my residential plot plan, will the driveway culvert stakeout be scheduled automatically?
No. You can schedule stakeouts via fax at (772) 871-5289, or by calling the Public Works Department at (772) 871-5177. Stakeouts are completed in the order they are requested.
How soon can I come back to pick up the Residential plot plan I dropped off?
The turnaround time may take up to 7 business days for approval. The Public Works Department will call or email you once the plot plans have been approved.
What payment types do you accept?
The Public Works Department accepts cash, check, and we also now accept credit cards. Credit card payments can be taken by phone or they can be paid online.
Do I need to submit a residential permit for all areas in Port St. Lucie?
No. There are several areas that do not require submittal to the Public Works Department. The following list can go directly to the Building Department:
Bay St. Lucie
Lake Lucie Estates
South River Shores
Vikings Landing / Lookout
What department do I go to begin the process for a residential permit?
You need to begin with the Public Works Department.
Is single stream recycling successful in other cities?
Yes! Since single stream recycling was implemented in the City of Fort Pierce, the amount of recyclables collected has increased by 170 percent. The City of Stuart has had such success with their single stream recycling program, that residential trash pickups have been reduced from twice a week to once a week.
How are the carts picked up and emptied?
Waste Pro's new fleet of compressed natural gas trucks are equipped with automated arms specially designed to empty the single stream carts. The arm is controlled from inside the vehicle so Waste Pro employees do not have to leave the truck.
How do I dispose of electronic equipment such as TVs, computers, laptops, etc.?
Electronic Waste (E-Waste) can be scheduled for a special pickup by Waste Pro and delivered to the landfill as hazardous waste. Residential customers within the city and county are eligible for this service.
The following is a list of common E-Waste items:
Fluorescent light bulbs
Call Waste Pro at (772) 595-9390 for more information about e-waste or to schedule a pickup.
What do I do with hazardous waste?
Household hazardous waste cannot be picked up with regular household garbage, but can be disposed of in two ways:
The Public Works Department hosts a free Hazardous Household Waste Drop-off Day once a year. The department also has free drop-off sites at city buildings for rechargeable batteries (cell phones, etc.). Call (772) 871-5100 for more information.
The St. Lucie County Bailing and Recycling Facility accepts many of these items. Call (772) 462-1768 for hours and for information about what will be accepted . This facility is located at 6120 Glades Cutoff Road, Ft. Pierce.
The following is a list of common household hazardous waste:
Rechargeable batteries *
Items containing mercury
Small Sealed Lead acid batteries *
Oil-based paints, thinners*
* CLARIFICATIONS - The following types of batteries are accepted:
Rechargeable Batteries (typically found in household electronics, cordless power tools, phones, etc.)
Small Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (usually found in backup power supplies)
Wet Cell Lead Acid Batteries (usually from autos, boats, trucks)
How do I dispose of X-rays?
Residents may call the radiology department of their local hospital or clinic for recycling of X-rays.
How do I dispose of Smoke Alarms/Detectors?
Smoke Alarms/Detectors contain a very small amount of radioactive Material and should be returned to the manufacturer for disposal.
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.
Used needles ("sharps") are also NOT considered hazardous waste, but you should take certain precautions with them before placing them in your household trash. The Florida Department of Health has an informative pamphlet on the subject, titled "How to Safely Throw Away Needles at Home."
How do I know what I can put in the new cart for recycling?
There is a graphic on the lid of the cart which lists items that can and cannot go in. If you are still unsure, please call Waste Pro at (772) 595-9390.
How do I place the cart at the curb?
Place the cart with the lid opening facing the road. Please make sure it is at least 5 feet away from the mailbox to allow the automated arm of the truck to access the cart
I don't have space for this cart, where am I supposed to store it?
The measurements or footprint of the old bins combined are 21.5 inches long and 15.2 inches wide. The new cart's footprint is square at 21.5 inches by 21.5 inches. The footprint of the new cart adds just 6.3 inches, so it's just slightly bigger then the old bins.
What do I do with my old bins?
Residents can call Waste Pro at (772) 595-9390 to schedule pickup of their old recycle bins.