Stormwater system to cure ‘untreated’ water

Matt Algarin

Work on a malfunctioning stormwater separator is expected to begin by the end of the year.

Located on the south side of U.S. Hwy. 98 in the Fisherman’s Wharf parking lot, the ailing stormwater system would be replaced through a roughly $250,000 grant, courtesy of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

“All of the water that is going through the pipe right now is untreated,” Public Services Director Steve Schmidt told The Log. When functioning properly, the separator basically spins water as it travels through the system and filters out sediments, trash and larger debris before it empties into the harbor.

Based on early estimates, the project should be 100 percent funded by the grant, but Schmidt said city leaders might consider setting some aside on a contingency basis.

The city was close to completing the project two years ago through a grant, but a “permitting glitch” and lack of funding prevented it from happening.

The FDEP is currently bidding the project out and is expected to hire a contractor soon.

“Ideally we’d like to have the project completed by spring break,” Schmidt said, adding that the filtering system should help combat some of the recent water quality concerns in the local waterways.