Miami Beach’s Storm Water Pumps Keep Waterways Cleaner

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]iami Beach’s new massive, storm water pumps are designed to help keep city streets dry. They are also offering the local environment an additional benefit: cleaner water entering the bay.

Specially trained crews regularly maintain the water pumps utilizing a multi-level debris cleaning process. On a recent cleaning of one of the newest pumping station located at the western edge of the city at 10 Street and West Avenue, an extremely large amount of refuse and debris was found in the several chambers of the water pumps. That is exactly how the system is supposed to work.

Sadly, Miami Beach City Engineer Bruce Mowry says the bulk of debris captured is generated from humans.

While overseeing the cleaning process,  Mowry said, “I see a lot of plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups, chips bag, beer cans, liquor bottles, just about anything you could imagine has been placed in our storm drains.”

The city’s antiquated storm water system; built over 80 years ago, is gravity based, which means that anything entering the system usually makes its way out into the bay. The new pump stations are designed to stop excessive and harmful debris from reaching bay waters, which is where the water is discharged.

Mowry explains there are four critical stages of the new system that not only help keep streets dry, but block debris from making it into the ecosystem.

“The first process of the pump system runs the water through a screen filters the water and this catches a lot of our bags, bottles, shoes, large pieces of wood and so forth,” continued  Mowry.

“The second takes out sand and particles that will settle out in a chamber and that removes suspended material. The next process is a chamber that catches floating materials that are basically lighter than water.”

The fourth stage of the water pump assists wildlife who needs oxygen to survive, by inducing more oxygen into the water.

Mowry emphasized that that debris found in the cleaning chambers is not naturally occurring.

City leaders say the next phase of awareness of how the water pumps work and their effectiveness is to further educate residents, visitors, and businesses and corporate partners about the importance of increased recycling efforts and litter control campaigns.

To watch this and more coverage from Miami Beach, visit the City of Miami Beach TV YouTube Channel.

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