”(Orlando Sentinel Sunday Edition) In our opinion, the lack of accurate information is astounding. And, one of our readers thought so too. The Sludge Report was copied on the response to that article. You can read that response here, as it would be surprising if the Orlando Sentinel would publish it. Any of our readers are welcome to send us their letters and we will be happy to publish them.
In our opinion, the lack of accurate information is astounding. And, one of our readers thought so too. The Sludge Report was copied on the response to that article. You can read that response here, as it would be surprising if the Orlando Sentinel would publish it. Any of our readers are welcome to send us their letters and we will be happy to publish them.
Subject: OBSESSION PREVENTS OBJECTIVITY AND BLOCKS LOGIC
In response to your editorial, “Tanks for Nothing,” your title makes a statements that tells me you have not read the bill, or you are accepting a pre-digested version of what is contained in the bill, or you are so biased you are unable to come to a logical conclusion. No one would get a new tank for nothing, and to suggest this is irresponsible and untruthful. More problems:
Sentence 1. As for a “festering” problem, even the Dept. of Environmental Protection says they are unable to quantitatively establish what, if any, nitrogen contribution can be attributed to septic systems.
Sentence 2. Whatever nitrogen from septic systems gets into the soil is very efficiently treated by the soil itself, and Florida’s sandy soils are (according to several University studies) well suited for filtering nutrients and bacteria.
Sentence 3. Nitrogen from septic systems does not produce algae blooms. Several readily available University studies indicate it is not the presence of nitrogen alone that causes algae blooms, but the imbalance between nitrogen and phosphorus, specifically a lack of nitrogen in the presence of phosphorus that causes most algae blooms. And, we are not killing the river by using a septic system. You need to introduce proof, if you are going to make a statement like that. Good luck with that.
Sentence 4. As far as the inspection provisions in the bill, Mr. Constantine inserted lines in the bill that guaranteed that no conventional septic system would pass an inspection, defacto-Performance-based Septic Systems are mandated. I hope in “re-tooling” SB550 the “inspection” does not include testing for nutrients, as he proposed in SB550. That would be a total misrepresentation of the term inspection, because a conventional system cannot be tested for nutrients, although it does process them through the soil.
You also say cost and financing difficulty was the only reason we do not want these fancy pricy systems. Another untruth. They are a burden to live with. One click on a PBTS provider website displays a host of dire operational warnings and functional limitations that no homeowner should have to deal with. Move out if you need chemotherapy, the system will shut down. Power outage? Move out, there is no sewage treatment. Flooding? Do not use the toilet & danger of electrocution. Guests? Find them a hotel – PBTS is capacity limited. These are the burdens and limitations that will keep homeowners from being able to even sell their homes, when an un-burdened home on city sewers is available for the same price. Do some research – I did.
A suggestion – also do the math. Dept. of Health says per capita nitrogen contribution to groundwater is 10 pounds/year. Florida Power will dump 8 pounds of nitrogen a year into the atmosphere producing enough power to run one PBTS system and we absolutely know that’s returned to surface water with precipitation and lightning deposition. Net impact per capita – 2 pounds. Alternatively, the homeowner could use one less bag of fertilizer at no cost and have a bigger impact on the aquifer and the river. Although it might be difficult, try to think about return-on-investment.
None of this hysteria about septic systems makes any sense. And the proposed solution makes even less. I worry far less about fraudulent inspectors than I do about remarks that cannot be substantiated.
Editor, The Sludge Report