PUBLIC_street mediumThe debate rages on. Every day I find more legislation pushing for sewer over septic. I watch as homeowners are charged thousands of dollars to connect to municipal wastewater facilities and told that it’s the more environmentally responsible choice, when so much data suggests otherwise. The water quality issue in our state has become a very real problem. In a previous article we outlined some of the irresponsible actions of our local municipality when it comes to partially-treated wastewater releases in our local waters. The state of Florida permits our over 2,000 municipal wastewater facilities to dump 960 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into our waterways every year. That’s PERMITTED. Did you know that millions of gallons of RAW SEWAGE makes its way to our waterways throughout the state of Florida from accidental sewer overflows? I reached out to the Florida Division of Emergency Management to get a better handle of what exactly is going into our waterways on a week to week basis and here are the biggest incidents reported so far in 2017:

Heavy rains causing 150,000-200,000 gallons of raw sewage to overflow from manholes.

Approximately 150,000-200,000 gallons of raw sewage / rainwater has overflowed from manholes in Fort Lauderdale. Caller advised this is still an on-going release, as the rainfall has continued throughout the evening. The release is impacting the Rio Grande and Rio Cevante Canals. The RP currently has about a dozen vac trucks that are being used to recover as much of the material as possible.

Pipe failure causing 180,000 gallons of raw sewage to leak in Pensacola.

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority reports a wastewater release of 180,000 gallons of raw sewage in Pensacola from a force main due to a pipe failure. No storm water systems were affected, but the release entered a nearby creek.

Liftstation malfunction causing 200,000 of raw sewage to spill.

Approximately 200,00 gallons of raw sewage has spilled from a lift station, located at the address listed below, in Jacksonville due to recent increased rainfall in the area. Caller advised the spill entered a nearby storm drain, which discharged into Ginhouse Creek. Clean-up actions are currently underway by the RP and hired contractors.

Liftstation failure causes 333,000 gallons of sewage to release to a stormwater pond.

Approximately 200,00 gallons of raw sewage has spilled from a lift station, located at the address listed below, in Jacksonville due to recent increased rainfall in the area. Caller advised the spill entered a nearby storm drain, which discharged into Ginhouse Creek. Clean-up actions are currently underway by the RP and hired contractors.

These are the largest incidents reported so far throughout the state of Florida, but there are are more every day ranging from hundreds of gallons to hundreds of thousands of gallons. While some of the incidents are crime or dumping related, the vast majority appear to be from infrastructure related to municipal wastewater facilities. When compared to any soft of small scale leaking that may occur from an improperly maintained septic system, the impact of these incidents running straight into our local waterways is glaring.

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