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St. Lucie River/C-23 Water Quality Project

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Nearly 9 billion gallons of water will be kept from entering the North Fork of the St. Lucie River annually, upon the completion of the water quality restoration/storage project located at Port St. Lucie McCarty Ranch Extension.


This water quality storage/treatment project will take approximately 1,871 acres of fallow citrus grove and a 730-acre water impoundment, located at McCarty Ranch Preserve, and convert them to a shallow water storage facility consisting of seven reservoirs capable of receiving water diverted from the C-23 Canal. It also will capture an annual average of 53 inches of rain on the property reducing the need to discharge.

More than 42.3 billion gallons of water flow annually into the North Fork of the St. Lucie River from the C-23 Canal. This project is anticipated to keep up to 21% of excess freshwater C-23 Canal discharges from entering the North Fork of the St. Lucie River.

The construction of this project is based on the grant funding received. In order to comply with the grant spending guidelines, each area will be complete and operational within 2 years of receiving the corresponding grant funds.

Future Alternative water supply

The Water Quality Restoration/Storage Project is the precursor to this City’s future alternative water supply. A proposed future surface water treatment plant will be built on this property to treat the water being pumped from the C-23 Canal to drinking water standards. A certain amount of this treated water will be sent out for public consumption and the rest will be stored in deep aquifer storage and recovery wells (ASRs). The stored water will then be recovered and distributed for consumption ensuring that Port St. Lucie is able to meet the water needs of this growing city for generations to come.


  • 19,409 acre-ft./6.330 billion gallons of water diverted from the C-23 Canal
  • 7,831 acre-ft./2.554 billion gallons of rainfall and excess water during annual wet season stored
  • 27,266 acre-ft./8.884 billion gallons total will be kept from entering North Fork of St. Lucie River
  • Recharge local water table
  • Remove 89,747 lbs. of Nitrogen and 18,477 lbs. of Phosphorus from the water entering the North Fork of the St. Lucie River annually
  • Reduce discharges from the C-23 Canal into the North Fork of the St. Lucie River by 21%

Budget & Projected Cost

  • $8 million - total includes design, permitting and construction
  • $180,640 – annual operating costs including fuel, mowing and monitoring
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