Tonight, June 21, 2018, there is an important issue at the Columbia Co. commissioners’ meeting, 5:30 at Columbia County School Board Administrative Complex Auditorium, 372 West Duval Street, Lake City, Florida 32055.
The following article by Carl McKinney in the Lake City Reporter today explains the issue. As mentioned below, a representative from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will be there to answer questions.
Come to the meeting to find out more.
Our thanks to Robert Bridges of the Lake City Reporter for special permission to use this article.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Septic tanks on hot seat at county
DEP rep will attend BOCC meeting today to explain new rules.
By CARL MCKINNEY [email protected]
New state septic tank regulations will soon be in effect, and they could cost homeowners thousands of dollars. Starting July 1, only nitrogen-reducing septic tanks can be installed at homes on lots smaller than one acre within special areas, a move intended to prevent harmful nitrates from seeping into the water supply.
A representative from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will go before the Columbia County Commission this afternoon to outline the new rules established by the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act, which the state legislature passed in 2016.
The guidelines are dense, said Koby Adams, aid to Lake City-based Republican state Rep. Elizabeth Porter, who represents District 10. “I’ve got about an inch-thick stack of documents here,” he said.
Adams said he’s waiting on DEP officials to clarify the rules. Realtors and home-building contractors are perhaps the two groups most eagerly awaiting answers, he said. County Manager Ben Scott said the new standard of septic tanks are estimated to be anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 more expensive than a standard $3,500 system.
The rules only apply to homes within a Priority Focus Area established by the legislation. Excessive nitrate pollution promotes runaway algae growth, which threatens underwater life, according to the Suwannee River Water Management District.
There have been documented cases of infant death and serious illness due to excessive nitrate levels in drinking water, according to the DEP website.