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Storm Preparation & Recovery

Palm tree blowing in an approaching storm

The goal and objective for Port St. Lucie Utility Systems is to provide safe, dependable, and high quality water and sewer services to our customers and to constantly adhere to established regulatory standards.
It is necessary to provide these services while dealing in response to all natural disasters and emergencies that may occur. These include natural disasters such as flooding, fires, wind, hurricane, and disease, as well as man-made and Homeland Security-type incidents.

Download Storm Preparation & Recovery Brochure

Watch this video for important information about your water and wastewater systems and what you should do during a storm.

Power outage impacts

City water customers: No impact. Our water treatment facilities will run on generator power.

Residents on well: Impact. Your pump runs on electricity and without it, water cannot be pumped into your home.

City sewer customers: Impact. Your low-pressure wastewater disposal system (grinder or STEP system) needs electricity to operate.

Gravity sewer customers: Possible impact. This system does not require power to operate until the wastewater reaches the lift station.

white toilet in residential bathroom

Using a generator

Customers may use a portable generator to power their residential grinder or STEP system during a power outage. However, connecting a portable generator directly to the grinder's electrical panel is prohibited. Customers must consult with a licensed electrician to install the appropriate equipment to enable the feed to go through the home's electrical panel. A personal generator must be a minimum of 220 Volts/6,500W.

Licensed electrician in hard hat working on home's electrical panel.

Prevent sewer backups

We recommend that you conserve water during a power outage, not because there will be a shortage of water, but because water going down the drain or toilet will quickly fill up your grinder or STEP tank. Without power, the wastewater cannot be pumped out of the tank

To prevent your tank from quickly filling up, only flush when absolutely necessary, avoid taking long showers, and running the dishwasher or washing machine.

The Utility Systems department will make every effort possible to pump out or pump down a customer's grinder or STEP system during the recovery period after a storm or hurricane.

Water flowing from shower head.

Your water service

Avoid the long lines to purchase water and save money too by filling up containers with your tap water. Our water is treated by reverse osmosis and purified with minerals, like many bottled waters on the market.

Our water plants operate and deliver water to your home at 60 to 80 psi. If distribution system pressure drops below 20 psi during a storm, a precautionary boil water notice is issued. A drop in water pressure may be caused by a line break, equipment failure, or generator failure.

Staff makes every effort to reduce the possibility of a drop in pressure. However, in the event there is a drop in pressure and precautionary boil water notice is issued, our water customers will be notified.

Self-serve emergency water supply depots will be made available to residents who may not have access to water during a storm.

Water flowing from a kitchen faucet into the sink.

Boil water alternative

If a precautionary boil water notice is issued and you're unable to boil water, the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County recommends taking the following steps: add 8 drops of unscented bleach per gallon of water, stir to mix, and allow the water to sit for 10 minutes before consuming.

Water boiling in a pot on the stovetop.

Common myth

Myth: Filling up my bathtub with water will help me flush the toilet.

Fact: Pouring water from your bathtub into the toilet to flush it will fill up your grinder or STEP tank very quickly. Without power, the pump will not activate to pump down the wastewater in your tank, and a full tank may cause a backup in your home.

Action: Limit your water use during a storm and if power is out, only flush when absolutely necessary and avoid taking long showers, using the dishwasher and washing machine.

 

Water flowing from bathtub faucet into stoppered tub.

Port St. Lucie Utility Systems is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service in any kind of weather.

Please be aware that Utility Systems will not dispatch crews when wind speeds exceed 39 miles per hour. The safety of our staff is our number one priority. Our employees will return to the field as soon as it is safe to do so.

You may call (772) 873-6400 for assistance with your system. Our switchboard is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by trained utility personnel.