How the Stormwater System Works
St. Pete’s storm drains are not connected to sanitary sewer systems or treatment plants, so rainwater flows directly from storm drains into creeks, lakes, Tampa Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico without treatment.
Understanding Stormwater Management
The City of St. Petersburg manages and performs routine maintenance on road surfaces to ensure water is efficiently routed:
- Cleaning and servicing catch basins, storm grates, and subsurface transmission lines to ensure that surface water at those collection points is diverted
- Maintaining backflow prevention systems to help minimize the effects of tidal surge and water returning to those collection points
City streets are a part of the stormwater system. City streets are expected to flood occasionally when the rain is coming down faster than the buried pipes can drain it away. In those instances, the street acts as a storage reservoir to temporarily hold the water until the rain slows down. The City’s goal is to keep the stormwater within the City Right-of-Way to prevent water from damaging private properties and structures.
Long-term solutions are consistently being developed and updated in the ongoing revision of the City's Stormwater Master Plan. This plan is reviewed and updated every ten years and will address areas needing improvement or expansion to the current infrastructure.
Stormwater Service in the Utility Bill
The City of St. Petersburg has implemented a tiered billing structure for stormwater rates for single-family properties to replace the flat fee that was previously charged to all single-family residential properties. This new tiered structure has classified single-family properties into tiers, based on the square footage of impervious surface area (surfaces that water runs off), so that a property’s fee more accurately reflects its impact on the stormwater system.
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- Eco-Friendly Business Toolkit: Disposal Guide
- Guide for Homeowners Preventing Runoff Pollution
Problem with a road, sidewalk, street sign, stormwater catch basin, street sweeping, or related? The Stormwater, Pavement, and Traffic Operations Department is here to help.
The City has a special line dedicated to resolving these issues and more. For the quickest response, call 727-893-7421. Operating hours are Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Alternatively, you can submit a ticket in SeeClickFix at stpete.org/Service.
StPeteStat is an interactive tool that displays performance measures and Stormwater, Pavement, and Traffic Operations Department data.
Seasonal Fertilizer Ban
Increased rainfall in the summer months can cause nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer to reach bodies of water and lead to environmental issues like algae blooms, fish kills, and water quality problems. To prevent this, the citywide fertilizer ban is in effect from June 1 to September 30 each year.
Here’s what you can do to help maintain the health of our waterways and marine life:
- Refrain from using fertilizer June 1 - September 30, per Pinellas County’s fertilizer ordinance. More information about the ordinance can be found at pinellascounty.org/fertilizer .
- Treat your lawn with a slow-release fertilizer in the spring to keep your lawn happy all summer.
- Pick up any debris or vegetation near storm drains year-round to keep it from entering local waterways.
- Follow a no-mow zone 10 feet from any water body, helping to establish a protective barrier.
- Make sure your lawn maintenance/landscaper is certified for Green Industries Best Management Practices. Verify at gibmp-prod.ifas.ufl.edu/certified .
- Replace some or all of your lawn with Florida-friendly and/or native plants.