Severe Weather

Managing Your Sewer System in a Storm:

Sewer System Tips

Hurricanes and Severe Weather:

In the event of a hurricane or severe weather the Loxahatchee River District has a proven hurricane plan.  Rest assured that the employees of the Loxahatchee River District are ready and able to respond quickly to maintain the functionality of our sewer system.  During such storm events, utilities, emergency personnel, and municipalities work closely to restore the services you rely on as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If your home is served by a Gravity sewer connection: during inclement weather or power outages, we advise that you limit your water use as much as possible.  Please continue to limit water use until power is restored to your entire neighborhood. If your home is served by a Low Pressure Sewer System and you have lost power at your home for an extended period, do not let any water go down the drains, please call 561-747-5708 to schedule a pump out of your unit once the weather has improved.

What reasonable steps can I take to restrict indoor water use during a severe storm or after a hurricane?  Avoid all unnecessary indoor water use.  Use a dishpan to wash dishes, then dispose of the water outside on the lawn.  Flush toilets only when necessary.  Take brief showers.  Do not run your washing machine or dishwasher until you are confident that power has been restored to your entire neighborhood.

Should you evacuate?  Please be advised if you live along the coast, you are the first residents advised to evacuate.  In these most vulnerable areas, critical infrastructures such as power lines and our lift stations are more likely to experience outages during a hurricane.  So, we encourage residents to honor evacuation requests.  If you chose not to evacuate, you should refrain from using non-essential water in your home.  This will lessen the likelihood of a sewage backup into your home.

Plan A Evacuation Area:

Persons living in a Plan A Evacuation Area should evacuate for ALL hurricanes, regardless of strength.

  1. All Coastal Barrier Islands
  2. All Mobile and Manufactured Homes
  3. All properties within ONE BLOCK of a coastal/tidal body of water
  4. All areas prone to flooding
  5. Plus the following additional areas:
    • Jupiter east of Pennock Lane and north of Toney Penna Drive
    • East of Military Trail and north of Indian Creek Pkwy.

Plan B Evacuation Area:

Persons living in a Plan B Evacuation Area should evacuate for all major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher in strength.

  1. All areas in Plan A
  2. Plus the following additional areas:
    • Jupiter/North Palm Beach/Palm Beach Gardens/Tequesta
    • East of Limestone Creek Road and north of Indiantown Road
    • East of Maplewood Drive and north of Indian Creek Parkway
    • East of Central Boulevard and north of Frederick Small Road
    • South of Frederick Small Road, east of Old Dixie Hwy., south to Northlake Blvd.

Hurricane Shelters: Hobe Sound to Palm Beach Gardens
Seawind Elementary School – 3700 SE Seabranch Boulevard, Hobe Sound
Independence Middle School – 4001 Greenway Drive, Jupiter
Palm Beach Gardens High School – 4245 Holly Drive, Palm Beach Gardens

Stay away from standing water.  It may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines, or be contaminated by harmful bacteria.

Don’t open sanitary sewer manholes!  Opening a sanitary sewer manhole is ILLEGAL and this creates a dangerous hazard.

Please take a moment and review Palm Beach County’s very helpful Hurricane Guide located on the web at

For a list of Publix Stores with generators, go to

For a list of Palm Beach County Gas Stations with Transfer Switches, go to

How do I report downed power lines?  Contact Florida Power and Light by calling 1-800-468-8243.

How do I clean up sewage contaminated items if sewage backs up into my home?  Wear protective clothing such as rubber boots, waterproof gloves, a mask, and eye protection, and remember to use bleach in a well-ventilated area.  Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water and disinfect with a solution of 1/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water.  Once cleanup is complete dry out affected items to prevent the growth of mold.  Do not mix ammonia cleansers with bleach as toxic vapors will form.  Wash all linens and clothing with detergent in hot water or dry clean them.  Discard items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses, carpeting, wall coverings and upholstered furniture.

What should I do if a sewage spill occurs outside my home?  Report the sewage spill by calling the Loxahatchee River District’s Emergency Number 561-747-5708.

Minor spills requiring immediate attention may be disinfected with regular garden lime from a garden shop.  Follow the lime container’s label instructions for personal protective equipment needed.  Sprinkle the lime onto the spill area so the spill is dusted mostly white on the surface.  If the residue is thicker in some places use a rake to mix the lime and the residue.  After a day, rake up the thicker residue and place it in a trash bag for disposal with the other trash.  Use a sprinkler or hose to water the lime and residue into the soil.  Let the area dry in the sun a day before allowing access.  If there is still white lime dust visible on the yard, water it in until the white dust is gone.