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) has hired Bergeron Land Development (BLD) to complete 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 will store 50,600 acre-feet of water captured from local basin runoff and Lake Okeechobee releases. The STA will treat the water to reduce nutrient loads and heighten water quality which will improve the health of the St. Lucie Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon, and restore 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 will 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 the SFWMD, the fully functional STA is expected to be completed late in 2020 and will eventually 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 will have an average depth of 15 feet and is scheduled to begin operation in 2021. A 9.2-mile, 30-foot-high earthen embankment will encircle the reservoir. When completed, the entire project will contain about 30 miles of elevated roads and 28 miles of canals.