Did you know that storm drains are not connected to sanitary sewer systems or treatment plants? In St. Pete, storm drains flow directly into our creeks, lakes, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico without treatment. Stormwater pollution, water pollution that is carried from our yards and streets by rain runoff, is easy to prevent, but it takes all of us to make a difference.
Increased rainfall in the summer months can cause nutrients from fertilizer to reach water bodies and lead to environmental issues like algae blooms, fish kills and water quality problems. To prevent this, the citywide fertilizer ban is in effect June 1 - September 30 each year.
Here are some eco-friendly tips:
- Treat your lawn with a slow-release fertilizer in the spring or fertilizer-free micronutrients in the summer to keep your lawn happy all summer.
- Pick up any debris or vegetation near storm drains year-round to keep it from entering our waterways.
- Follow a no-mow zone six feet from any water body, helping to establish a protective barrier.
- Make sure your lawn maintenance/landscaper is certified through Pinellas County.
- Replace some or all of your lawn with Florida-friendly natives.
Street sweeping is one of the essential services the City of St. Petersburg provides. Not only does it improve the appearance and quality of life in your neighborhood, it is the most cost-effective way of improving water quality. It protects our storm drains from clogging with debris, leading to flooding during storm events and pollution of our bays and surface waters. St. Petersburg adheres to state and federal stormwater quality requirements by keeping vegetation and other debris from entering storm drains and contaminating the local waterways.
St. Petersburg is working on an improved street sweeping schedule and updating communication to keep citizens informed of the increased sweeping frequency. Until the schedule is complete, street sweeping will be maintained on a quarterly basis.
How You Can Help
- Do not to rake or blow leaves, grass, litter, palm fronds, twigs, branches or other materials into the street. Street sweepers will bypass debris piles to avoid hidden objects that may damage sweeper equipment.
- Make sure trash and recycling containers are in their proper locations.
- Remove vehicles from the street when sweepers are scheduled to avoid possible flying debris, citations or vehicle towing.
The City provides storm drain markers with pollution prevention messaging that you can attach to your neighborhood storm drains to educate your neighbors about stormwater pollution prevention. Kits include the markers, maps and the tools needed to attach the markers to the storm drain covers.
Make sure everyone in your neighborhood knows that storm drains are only for rain — not oil, grass clippings, leaves, fertilizers, litter or pet waste.