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Treasure Coast waterways getting a makeover, clean up

Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 02, 2018

One of the most polluted waterways on the Treasure Coast is getting a makeover.

After two years and $2 million, a major clean up project has been completed.

The All-American Ditch was a heavily wooded area off Mapp Road in Palm City. Sindi Pender liked the privacy behind her home.

“I enjoyed the woods like backyard," Pender said Monday.

But the water tributaries in the woods were some of the most polluted in the area, and they fed into the St. Lucie River.

Monday, Martin County leaders showed off the new St. Lucie Shores water quality project. Storm water from nearby neighborhoods along Mapp Road is captured in newly installed pipes and moved through the system.

“Into a deep water lake behind us that provides water quality treatment. The deep water lake provides a settling of sediments, the sands and the particulates that are in the storm water," said Senior Project Manager Greg Nolte.

Several kinds of native plants ring the 36-acre site.

“Those plants absorb the nitrogen and the phosphorous and provide nutrient uptake," said Nolte.

The goal is to reduce nitrogen levels by 40 percent and phosphorous by more than 70 percent before the water ends up in the St. Lucie River.

Sindi Pender enjoys her views now even more.

“I tell everyone I know we won the HGTV backyard lottery,” said Pender.

It takes about 54 days for a drop of water to go through the storm water treatment system.