I am an active participant in the Wekiva Area Alliance supporting traditional, gravity fed sewer installation in the Wekiva Springs Area. I wish to thank Commissioner Christine Moore for taking the initiative and spending the time and energy it took to bring together 17 subdivisions to hammer out a plan for BMAP compliance. She did a yeoman’s job of educating residents about the BMAP mandates, taking the hard questions and, in the end, the plan to sewer has the support of our residents. No small feat.
As editor of The Sludge Report, I have spent the past 10 years researching all the alternatives, pros and cons, attending all the BMAP meetings, the Dept. of Health meetings and can tell you without reservation that gravity fed sewers are the “GOLD STANDARD.”
BMAP credits Orange County with a 95% nitrogen reduction if sewers replace septic systems, the highest credit available. Advanced systems promise 65% nitrogen reduction, but BMAP is relying on laboratory results to provide that credit. Historically, field test results at homeowner sites show they fail miserably, providing 33% reduction or less. Just to provide some perspective, my septic system provides 50% reduction, or more! Sewers are good for the Springs. They are good for the county’s compliance mandates. And, good for the residents who will have reliable sewage disposal, predictable costs, and stable, competitive home values.
The same cannot be said for grinder sewer systems or advanced treatment systems. The new “distributed sewer” systems are essentially advanced systems but are without a history of any kind. My extensive research into FDEP and FDOH archives demonstrates alternatives do not protect the environment. Further, real estate sales histories show on average a $20 thousand drop in home values where these alternatives have been installed. That is devastating to homeowners, and to the county. As the values drop, so do the property tax revenues.
Wekiva Springs and the park are truly a treasure, and we mean to protect it. We appreciate the efforts of Commissioner Moore and appreciate your continuing support for this plan. It’s a win/win/win for the environment, the county, and the homeowners in our coalition.
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