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Hurricane Prep: PEP Tank Dos and Don'ts

(Published on - 7/7/2021 6:24:22 PM)


Do I have a PEP Tank? Do I really know what a PEP tank is? What does my PEP Tank do? What do I need to do with my PEP tank before a storm? If you're asking yourself any of these questions, you came to the right place!


For starters, a PEP Tank is a Pretreatment effluent pumping system. The PEP System is a part of Palm Coast's central sewage system designed for your particular area. In areas served by the PEP system, each home will have a buried tank, a small pump and a control panel that is mounted on the home. The system is owned and operated by the City of Palm Coast Utility Department. On the control panel, located on the side of house, you will notice a red light and a green light on the side nearest to the road. The green light indicates that the control panel is energized and should always be illuminated. The red light is part of an audio-visual high water alarm. According to Cindi Lane, Palm Coast’s communications and marketing manager, about half of the homes in Palm Coast have PEP tanks.


Why should you be concerned about this during hurricane season? Well, Hurricane Matthew caused problems for PEP tanks in Palm Coast in Oct. 2016. If power outages occur, an average family will only be able to use a normal amount of waste water for three days before PEP tanks start to back up. However, Cindi Lane said the city is working to make sure aftermath problem solving goes faster and smoother this year should we run into problems with power outages and PEP tank problems.


If the power is off, the pump will not operate. Pep tanks will not empty into the wastewater system if there is no power. If the tank fills to capacity, there is a risk it could back up into your home, causing a health concern. If any part of your tank is damaged or missing, you need to call the City department and report the problem. If your PEP tank breaks or is getting backed up, an audible alarm will sound from the control panel. If your pep tank alarm goes off, please call Palm Coast customer service at 386-986-2360. They will be taking calls 24 hours a day starting 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 10 through the duration of the storm. 

  1. Utility workers can come to your house with a tanker truck and suck out the waste. Then the truck will take the waste to the wastewater plant. 
  2. Utility workers can hook a generator up to the PEP panel, which is on the side of your house, and turn the pump on temporarily to move the waste into the sewer pipes.


So now that you know how to handle a PEP tank if you lose power, you're ready for hurricane season!



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