Sunday, November 14, 2010

Septic Tank Law Faces Backwash of Objections

Hold your nose, folks, and stay out of the river and off the beach.  Your Florida neighbors likely won’t have to take better care of their septic system than they have in the past.  The Green Monster and Red Tide will continue to run free in Florida should some in the 2011 legislature have their way.  Oh, and don’t expect to always get clean water from your well.
The landmark bill passed and signed into law last summer has encountered a heavy backwash from folks unwilling to pay their way and keep your neighborhood and your waters clean.
Check out this recent flush of reports from around Florida:
Constantine Defends Septic Tank Bill As Delay Nears, News Service of Fla., via Fla. Assn. of Community Colleges News, 11/12/10
The push to weaken septic tank legislation approved last spring by lawmakers is dividing the usually clubby Florida Senate . . . The wide-ranging bill is designed to protect Florida’s natural springs and waterways which are often threatened by septic tank overflow. Beginning in January, the legislation would require inspections of the state’s 2.6 million septic tanks once every five years. . . .
Septic tank law worth the price? Pensacola News Journal, November 07, 2010 


Photo: Florida Wildlife Research Institute (FWCC)
 Comment in response from “thehodag,“ 1:58 PM on November 7, 2010
Why not just do what MOST state's require ????
Septic Tanks need to be pumped out every 2nd year, with most companies charging $50-75 to do it. They inspect the tank FREE when it is completely empty (It only takes 5 minutes & a Flashlight!!), and honestly, they can tell from the stuff they've just pumped out whether the tank is working correctly....
Somebody here in Florida is handing you a line, as there is NO WAY it should cost $230 to have a Septic Tank pumped, as the article above states. In other parts of the country, Septic Pumping companies make a good living doing the job for $50-75.

And, no way it should cost $500 for this "inspection" the article talks about, as nobody has set standards for exactly what this "inspection" entails.
There should, however be a law mandating that tanks get pumped out on a regular schedule. When I moved down here, I was dumbstruck to discover nobody ever had their tank pumped out!!
Deltona wants to flush new septic-tank law, West Volusia Beacon, Nov 8, 2010
Cost of inspections would devastate city, commissioner says.
Mandatory septic tank pump-outs worry homeowners, Highlands Today, via Tampa Bay Online, Nov 8, 2010

It really all comes down to money vs. safe/healthy communities: Developers and homeowners want to avoid a cash cost.  Lovers of Florida want to have clean waters, for living and outdoors life.  Can we save Old Florida or do we give up on paradise?

Microcystis bloom, Cape Coral
 What can you do?
Contact your state legislators, talk with your city and county councilors/commissioners, get your neighbors to understand this story (it's wonderful what one can cover while sharing a cup of coffee or a beer)

Find your legislator, call the district office ask for your representative or speak with the staffer, and tell the how you feel about the need for septic system inspections.  It will take just a couple minutes.  One only needs to say a few words from your heart.  Find your legislator's phone numbers on the web at:


References


Best Management Practices, Watershed Septic Systems, Water Quality Group, North Carolina State University
Florida Water Coalition http://floridawatercoalition.org/ 

Florida Springs Task Force Report (FDEP, Nov. 2000)

Don't Be Distracted, Pollution Is Real, St. Johns Riverkeeper blog: