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STUART, Fla (May 19, 2023) -- A City of Stuart Public Works project designed to treat stormwater runoff from a Stuart neighborhood that discharges into Poppleton Creek then eventually into the St. Lucie River, has been recognized by the Florida Chapter American Public Works Association (APWA) as the Project of the Year.
The Tressler Drive Baffle Box Project was the last remaining stormwater outfall in the City of Stuart that needed to be outfitted with a filtration system.
Anne Ellig, City of Stuart Utilities and Engineering Program Manager who spearheaded grant applications for the project explained, “The $296,915.73 project was funded partially by two grants, one from South Florida Water Management District Indian River Lagoon License Plate Funding ($89,980) and the other from the Indian River Lagoon Council ($80,000).”
For this project a second-generation baffle box and rain garden (bioswale) were constructed to treat stormwater from a 13.7-acre residential development that discharged stormwater directly to Poppleton Creek. The three-stage system filters through separation, screening and filtration, removing coarse organic materials and debris, such as grass clippings, leaves and litter, then trapping and storing them above the static water line, which reduces decomposition and nutrient leeching. The system also removes sediments, heavy metals, nitrogen, phosphorous, oil and grease.
Marc Rogolino, the City of Stuart project manager on this project shared, “According to Pollutant Load Reduction Calculations, an annual reduction of 40.92-pounds of total nitrogen and 7.67 pounds of total phosphorus is anticipated from this project.”
Studies demonstrate the three-step-filtration EcoVault® system used in this project removes 57% total phosphorus, 77% fecal coliform, 79% zinc, and 91% total suspended solids (TSS).
Milton Leggett, City of Stuart Public Works Director highlighted more benefits of the project, “The Tressler Drive Water Quality Improvement Project aligns with the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program’s ‘One Lagoon – One Community – One Voice” mission. The City continues to implement strategies to improve the quality of runoff entering the St. Lucie River and to advance toward basin management action plans (BMAPs).”
A basin management action plan (BMAP) is a framework for water quality restoration that contains local and state commitments to reduce pollutant loading through current and future projects and strategies. BMAPs contain a comprehensive set of solutions, such as permit limits on wastewater facilities, urban and agricultural best management practices, and conservation programs designed to achieve pollutant reductions established by a total maximum daily load (TMDL).
According to APWA representative Kyle Scott, 12 submittals were reviewed in various categories and cost ranges for the APWA’s annual public works awards program. The City of Stuart received Project of the Year 2023, in the Environment, Less than $2 Million category. Judging criteria included use of good construction management techniques and completion of the project on schedule; safety performance; community relations; protection of the environment during the project; construction innovations; use of alternative materials, practices or funding demonstrating a commitment to sustainability.
“The City of Stuart is proud to add this award to the numerous others received over the years which exemplify the dedication and professionalism of our City of Stuart employees. We thank the South Florida Water Management District and Indian River Lagoon Council for the grants that offset the costs of this important and needed project. And we thank the Tressler Baffle Box project team comprised of Milton Leggett, who has served the City of Stuart for 41 years, Marc Rogolino, who has served the City for 21 years, Anne Ellig, who has served the City for 8 years, and our consultant CAPTEC Engineering, Inc. and contractor Ferreira Construction Southern Division Co., for making the last stormwater outfall in the City an award-winning project—one that reflects the City’s commitment to protecting our environment and water resources, which are the heart of our community, our way of life, and our Children’s future, ” said Mayor Troy McDonald.
City of Stuart Public Works, Utilities and Engineering Awards
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