The C-44 Reservoir/Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) is a project covering nearly 10,000 acres in South Florida. Once a vast area of natural wetlands, much of the land transitioned to agricultural use in the mid-20th Century after the construction of the Herbert Hoover Dike almost completely enclosed Lake Okeechobee, sharply reducing the flow of water into the region.
The project is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), which sets out a long-term plan for restoring, protecting and preserving the water resources of Central and Southern Florida, including the Everglades. The storm water treatment area includes 32 miles of berms, 30 miles of canals and 63 structures.
Mandated by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), WSP performed construction management services for the C-44 Reservoir/Stormwater Treatment Area Project, which aims to capture runoff from the C-44 Basin and treat it before returning it to the C-44 Canal to help improve water quality in the Florida Everglades.
The C-44 Canal discharges into the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Lucie Estuary. In the last several years, high levels of polluted storm water runoff have affected the recreational interests and livelihoods of local residents and businesses.
The purpose of the C-44 Reservoir/STA project is to build wetlands, canals, culverts, discharge structures, and embankments that will capture local runoff from the C-44 Basin, treat it naturally, and return it to the C-44 Canal. It also controls fresh water peak flow into Estuaries, avoiding the sudden releases of freshwater into the Indian River Lagoon.