Board approves additional funding for septic tank removal near Indian River Lagoon

PALM BAY, Fla., May, 10, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board today voted to provide an additional $160,185 to the city of Rockledge for the removal of 143 failing septic tanks situated near the Indian River Lagoon.

“Through our partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the city of Rockledge, harmful nutrients will be eliminated from leaching into the Indian River Lagoon,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Replacing septic tanks with a sewer system is just one example of our larger effort to find cost-effective ways to reduce pollutant loading in this remarkable estuary.”

The septic tank to sewer conversion will eliminate approximately 4,433 pounds per year of nitrogen and approximately 715 pounds per year of phosphorus from reaching the lagoon.

In 2014, the district entered into a cost-share agreement with Rockledge to remove the failing septic tanks. Of the $2.49 million in construction costs, the district provided $550,000. The city also received a $775,000 legislative appropriation distributed and disbursed by DEP.

Additional funding was necessary due to the unexpected discovery of coquina (rock composed largely of shell) during excavation for the new sewer line that will connect to the 143 homes with failing septic tanks. Rockledge has pledged to contribute $321,370 toward the additional construction costs. The district and DEP have worked together and agreed to evenly split the remaining $321,370 in construction costs.