VERO BEACH – Crews descended on Humiston Park Thursday on Ocean Drive, tearing up a massive concrete slab to get at the stormwater pumps below.
Work at Humiston Park, which many in the public thought was done at the time of the grand re-opening this year, won’t be done until maybe mid-June, according to a city engineer.
Matthew Mitts, a city civil engineer overseeing the work, said that the installation of a larger pump had been planned from the start. What hadn’t been planned, however, was the timing of the work.
The city had to order the new 60 horsepower pump that can handle 7,900 gallons of water a minute. The special order took longer to arrive, Mitts said.
“It’s a pretty beefy upgrade,” he said.
The older pumps are just 10 horsepower each and handle 1,150 gallons of water a minute.
Visitors to the park can expect to see crews working to install the pump and all the electrical components that go along with it, he said. Areas where visitors should stay away will be taped off.
Mitts expects that only a small part of the park – the corner at Ocean Drive and Easter Lily Lane – and the adjacent parking slots will be off limits until the work is complete.
The new pump will work alongside the two smaller, existing pumps, to handle stormwater runoff from the street, pumping the water to an exfiltration system – an underground pond beneath the park – that will scrub the water of contaminates prior to releasing the water out into the Atlantic Ocean.
The pump site is a natural low along Ocean Drive and collects water runoff from both directions as far away as Gayfeather Lane and Beachland Boulevard.
Along with handling the street runoff, Mitts said the added pump capacity would assist in protecting the area from flooding in the event of massive rainfall.