District funds reduce pollution from Hawthorne septic system

PALATKA, Fla., July 7, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District and the city of Hawthorne are teaming up to reduce nutrient loading from an existing commercial septic system at the city’s Little Orange Creek Nature Park.

“I’m excited to cost-share for the first time with the city of Hawthorne, and particularly to partner on a project that will provide water quality benefits to the Upper Floridan aquifer,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “The project will help to protect area springs by reducing nutrient loading from septic tanks.”

The project calls for retrofitting the city’s existing commercial septic system with a passive onsite treatment system designed to reduce the concentration of nutrients discharged from the existing system. The new system relies on gravity and a patented blend of mineral materials, sand and clay, called Bold & Gold®, for nutrient reduction.

“Hawthorne is proud to partner with the St. Johns River Water Management District to provide additional capacity at our Little Orange Creek Nature Park,” said Mayor Matt Surrency. “We would not be able to provide these needed upgrades without the support of the district. This is a great opportunity to explore new technology as an alternative to a big wastewater treatment facility in our environmental and historic preservation area.”

The $36,000 project is estimated to reduce total nitrogen by 96 pounds per year and total phosphorus by 17 pounds per year.

In wastewater applications, Bold & Gold® can be used to significantly reduce the nutrients in wastewater effluent and has proven to remove approximately 80 percent of total nitrogen and more than 99 percent of bacteria from typical Florida household wastewater streams.

The new system is expected to be operational in mid August.