C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area (STA)

Client: South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)
Location: Martin County, Florida
Project Type: Environmental
Procurement Type: Contract – $39 Million

As part of its Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) hired Bergeron Land Development (BLD) to complete the construction of the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area (STA).

The reservoir is located on approximately 12,000 acres on the northern side of the St. Lucie Canal in western Martin County and can store 50,600 acre-feet of water captured from local basin runoff and Lake Okeechobee releases. The STA treats the water to reduce nutrient loads and heighten water quality which improves the health of the St. Lucie Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon, and restores the historic flow of clean water back to the Everglades.

On November 8, 2019, the project reached a significant milestone when Florida Governor Ron De Santis ceremoniously triggered water to pump from the C-44 canal into cell 2 of the STA for the first time. The SFWMD reports the project’s four large pumps can move a combined 6.7 million gallons per hour from the intake canal to one of the six cells inside the STA. The pumps run 8 hours a day, five days a week and take about 30 days to put 18 inches of water into each 1,000-acre cell.

According to the SFWMD, the fully functional STA is expected to have the capability to treat 46 billion gallons of water each year and remove about 45,200 pounds of phosphorus.

The 3,400-acre C-44 reservoir has an average depth of 15 feet and is encircled by a  9.2-mile, 30-foot-high earthen embankment. The entire project will contain about 30 miles of elevated roads and 28 miles of canals.