Wastewater Service

The primary responsibility of the FPUA’s Wastewater Service is to operate, maintain, and protect the system that collects, treats, and disposes of sewage generated from domestic and industrial customers within its service area. The Wastewater Department has three divisions that work together to serve the City of Fort Pierce and sections of unincorporated St. Lucie County. These three divisions include Wastewater Collections, Water Reclamation, and Water/Wastewater Engineering. The FPUA Wastewater Department adheres to strict compliance programs to ensure that it meets regulatory requirements, protecting public health, safety and the environment.

Wastewater Collections

Wastewater Collections (WWC) serves over 14,700 customers and maintains approximately 180 miles of gravity mains ranging from 8” to 48” in diameter. This includes 22 miles of service lines and 5100 manholes, all of which need to be inspected and maintained. A continual TV/cleaning program is practiced to clean, vacuum, and tele-inspect our collection system. WWC has a schedule to repair or replace gravity mains and laterals to prevent problems and extend the life of the system.

The WWC Lift Station Division has 116 Lift Stations, approximately 91 miles of force mains ranging from 4 to 24 inches in diameter, 104 air releases, and 504 force main valves. A continual lift station preventative maintenance program is practiced ensuring the lift station components are operating efficiently. Each lift station collects wastewater from the gravity collection system which collects in a storage tank until it is pumped through pipes called force mains to the treatment facility.

Water Reclamation

Water Reclamation is responsible for the proper treatment and disposal of the wastewater stream, enforcement of the Industrial Pretreatment Program, and efficient operation of the Island Water Reclamation Facility (IWRF). This must be accomplished while meeting stringent State and Federal regulations.

The FPUA Island Water Reclamation Facility is a 10 million gallon a day facility that treats the area’s wastewater and discharges the treated effluent, into a deep injection well which is 3000+ feet deep, into the ground. The flows coming into the facility come from residential (homes), commercial (restaurants and other businesses), and industry (manufacturing, juicing, car washes, etc.). All the flow is brought to the facility via 116 lift stations which pump the wastewater using a series of gravity and force main sewers. Wastewater coming into the IWRF goes through preliminary treatment, treatment, and finally a clarification process.

The Water Reclamation Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP) regulates Industrial Users (IUs) that discharges or has the ability to discharge non-domestic waste into the FPUA wastewater system. Metal finishing and related operations are a common source of industrial wastewater in Florida. FPUA requires certain IUs to pretreat their wastewater prior to sending it to the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). For additional information, contact the FPUA IPP Supervisor at 772-466-1600, ext. 5511.

The Waste Manifest applies to grease haulers who perform pump out or cleaning services on grease interceptors, grease traps, lint traps, oil/water separators or sand separators. It is a requirement for them to submit a Waste Manifest form to FPUA’s IPP Supervisor within 48 hours of pump out. All sections of the Waste Manifest must be completed and submitted. Submittal of the Waste Manifest Form can be online, by fax or email. 

Waste Manifest Form

FPUA Wastewater Treatment Facility in Fort Pierce, Florida off Seaway Drive

WASTEWATER FACTS

  • In 2005, approximately 64% of Florida’s population was served by central sewer systems and treatment facilities. The remainder of the population used on-site sewage treatment and disposal (septic tanks) to treat their wastewater.
  • In 2006, there were approximately 2,100 active domestic wastewater treatment facilities in Florida with a total permitted capacity of 2.4 billion gallons per day. (About one half of this capacity represents non-surface water discharges).
  • In 2006, large facilities (capacities greater than 500,000 gallons per day) treated greater than 96% of the total treated wastewater flow in Florida.
  • Only thirty-two facilities in 2006 (around 1 percent of the total number of facilities) have permitted capacities of 15 million gallons per day or more. However, these facilities represent more than 50% percent of the total permitted wastewater capacity in Florida.
  • About 80% percent of Florida’s facilities in 2006 have capacities less than 100,000 gallons per day. These facilities, however, account for only about 2% percent of the total permitted capacity in the state.
  • The number of smaller facilities (also known as package plants) is slowly decreasing as the number and size of regional treatment facilities continues to increase.

WASTEWATER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Wastewater? It’s also called sewer water and is the water from baths, showers, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines and toilets.

Where does it go? After you flush your toilet or empty your bathtub, the water disappears down your drain and is carried from your home through a network or underground pipes and pumps until it reaches FPUA Water Reclamation Facility.

Does what I put down the drain effect my service? Sewer lines are clogged daily by people who dispose of such things as grease, motor oil, eggshells, coffee grounds, and kitty litter down drains, toilets, garbage disposals, and sewer manholes. Help us keep your plumbing bills, and future rate increases down by observing the following helpful hints:

  • No grease down drains – cooking oils, fats, etc.
  • No motor oils down drains or city storm drains.
  • No egg shells down the disposal or drains – should be disposed of in solid waste bins.
  • No kitty litter down drains – gritty materials sink, causing blockages in the line.
  • No coffee grounds down disposals or drains.

Also remember, it is illegal to dump some products, like anti-freeze, paint and other chemicals into the sewers.

What if I have sewer odor in my house? Run fresh water in all sinks to fill traps inside the house. If this does not cure the problem, check the toilet and make sure it’s firmly attached to the floor, the wax seal around the toilet may be compromised, if this does not work, contact FPUA.

Why is there a manhole in my back yard? The manhole in your backyard is an access point for the sanitary sewer and in most cases cannot be moved.

Sewer Backup

What do I do in the event of a backup? A blockage in the service lateral or mainline will affect drains throughout the entire house. A single drain or toilet may be an isolated problem. If possible locate your cleanout (note: it may be buried or you may not have one) they are generally located a few feet from the house. It will be metal or plastic and is generally 4” in diameter you may also have more than one. In some cases the clean out in at the edge of street or side walk. If a backup should occur to the point of overflow, it is recommended that you remove the clean out cap, depending on the location of the blockage; this may allow the water to spill in the yard rather than in your house. Before calling a plumber call Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) at listed numbers. FPUA will check main line and our service lateral to the customer’s property line. If FPUA’s sewer lines are clear you will be directed to call a plumber. FPUA will identify where the blockage is at no charge to the customer.

Preventative measures you can take to prevent sewer backups:

  • Do not dispose of your household grease in the sinks or toilets.
  • Do not dispose of diapers or other disposable hygiene products in your toilets – (can’t stress this enough).
  • Do not dispose of bones and food scraps if you do not have an appliance to grind them before disposal .
  • Inspect and have your rooftop vents cleaned out by a professional.
  • Place screening over you rooftop vents if you encounter a problem with rodents entering you home through you toilets.

Sewer Odor Complaint

Contact Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) Customer Services Dept. to report odor form interior plumbing, lift station, manhole, or other source.

Sewer Overflows

Contact Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) Service Department to report sewage running down street or swale, bubbling from a manhole, broken pipe or pump/lift station.

Road Depressions/Sinkholes

Contact Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) Customer Services Dept. to report dip in pavement or hole in the street, shoulder or swale. If considered an immediate danger to the public dial 911.

Cleaning and Inspection

Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) performs annual cleaning and inspection of designated gravity sewer lines each year. This is preventive maintenance designed to minimize service interruptions and to identify potential problems in the early stages. FPUA uses both in-house personnel and subcontractors to perform this valuable service. From time to time the cleaning process will force water in the toilet bowl to be expelled. Should an expulsion occur, please contact our Customer Services Department immediately.

Maintenance and Construction

Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) performs many repairs and improvements to the sewer system each year. The scope of work can range from a minor service repair to the replacement of a sewer main extending for city blocks. Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) uses both in-house personnel and subcontractors to perform this work. Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) will do everything possible to minimize any inconvenience.

The Water/Wastewater Engineering Department is responsible for engineering, design, permitting, inspection and construction management associated with expansions, repairs and upgrades of FPUA’s Water Reclamation Facility, Water Treatment Plant, Water Distribution System, Gas Distribution System, and Wastewater Collection System.

The department is also tasked with planning for future growth and changes to our systems as technology and/or laws and regulations change.

The department plans for growth of the various systems and schedules needed repair and replacement projects. They also coordinate system needs with consultants to insure proper project scope, timing, and funding.

Finally, they work with consultants on major construction projects that affect water and wastewater systems. They manage and inspect construction projects and develop standards for materials and designs.

Click to View: Water and Wastewater Engineering Downloads

Water & Wastewater Engineering

The Water/Wastewater Engineering Department is responsible for engineering, design, permitting, inspection and construction management associated with expansions, repairs and upgrades of FPUA’s Water Reclamation Facility, Water Treatment Plant, Water Distribution System, Wastewater Collection System, and Gas Distribution System.

The department is also tasked with planning for future growth and changes to our systems as technology and/or laws and regulations change.

The department plans for growth of the various systems and schedules needed repair and replacement projects. They also coordinate system needs with consultants to insure proper project scope, timing, and funding.

Finally, they work with consultants on major construction projects that affect water and wastewater systems. They manage and inspect construction projects and develop standards for materials and designs.

Water/Wastewater Engineering Downloads

Wastewater Reclamation Facility Aerial Plant Tour