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Water-Related News

Plan would use state money to put Wekiwa Springs homes on sewer service

A plan to extend sewer lines near Wekiwa Springs to homes that have septic systems would be paid for mostly with tax money but has agitated residents who fear the project would cost them thousands of dollars, tear up streets and yards — but do little to reduce pollution.

"There are some people all up in arms thinking they are going to be forced to do something," said Charles Whitaker, president of Sweetwater West, a community with some of the 380 homes identified for converting to sewer service.

"But we're not really sure we understand the real driver behind this project," he said. "There's been no firm scientific evidence that proves that septic systems put a lot of nitrogen into the [springs] system."

But the new initiative to reduce the number of septic tanks, which are blamed by state officials for polluting the springs and triggering harmful algae, has been cheered by environmentalists as the best news in years.

"It has been a long time in coming," said Nancy Prine, a founding member of Friends of the Wekiva River. "The river has been studied and studied and studied. It's just fantastic that something is moving forward."