PEP Tanks During a Storm

If power outages occur, water should be conserved. PEP tanks cannot empty into the wastewater system if there is no power.

Many homes in Palm Coast utilize a Pretreatment Effluent Pumping (PEP) tank for wastewater. Residents with PEP tanks should limit water usage if their power goes out and during heavy rain events. Water usage during these times could risk waste backing up into homes. PEP systems rely on electricity to pump the waste out to the sewer system

If power outages occur because of Tropical Storm Ian, a reserve capacity in the PEP tank allows for a normal day’s usage before any difficulty may be experienced. Palm Coast has generators at our neighborhood pump stations designated specifically for PEP tank system backup power and works closely with Florida Power and Light to restore power to neighborhoods with PEP systems as quickly as possible.

If waste starts backing up into the home, which typically occurs in the shower first, residents should stop using any water and submit a ticket using or call customer service at 386-986-2360. 

To prevent PEP tanks from backing up during a power outage, limit water usage. Don’t do laundry, run the dishwasher, or take frequent showers. Flushing toilets should be limited as much as possible.

If your PEP tank breaks or is getting backed up, an audible alarm will sound from the control panel. At that point, residents should call submit a ticket or call customer service.

The PEP (Pretreatment Effluent Pumping) System is a part of our central sewage system designed for particular areas in Palm Coast. 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.

What Are These Lights?
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. Should the PEP system malfunction, the red light will come on and an audible alarm will sound. If this happens, you should press the audible alarm silence button located on the bottom of the panel and contact a customer service representative NOT a plumber. Please submit a case or call Customer Service at 386-986-2360.

During a Storm:

What happens if there is a power failure?

If the power is off, the pump will not operate. A reserve capacity in the pretreatment (PEP) tank allows for up to a normal day’s usage before any difficulty may be experienced. During a power outage, greatly reduce your water use. This includes water use in sinks and showers. If the tank fills to capacity, there is a risk it could back up into your home, causing a health concern. If your PEP tank is getting backed up, an audible alarm will sound from the control panel or the red light will blink. If this occurs, please call Palm Coast Customer Service at 386-986-2360 or submit a ticket at

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