Florida allows hundreds of thousands of mismanaged and neglected septic systems to freely operate throughout the State due to inadequate regulation and a deeply flawed septic system permitting program.
Florida has been delinquent for decades in developing and implementing effective septic system permitting programs, rules and regulations that will protect our health and environment. This is without question the number one cause of nitrogen contamination from septic systems.
The state agencies will strongly protest this statement and I am sure they can produce many awards, accolades and accommodations demonstrating how advanced and forward thinking their septic system programs are. So, let’s look at the facts and results of the past several decades of our states septic system permitting programs.
Our state department leaders have been permitting septic systems for decades knowing that the systems were never designed to operate without maintenance and that they have a life expectancy of 20 years, providing they get their proper maintenance.
99% of the septic systems in Florida are not and have never been under any management or maintenance requirements.
FDOH’s statistics indicate that approximately 2 million septic systems are 20 years or older, which is the average lifespan of a septic system in Florida.
1.3 million septic systems were installed prior to 1983. Pre-1983 septic systems were required to have a six-inch separation from the bottom of the drainfield to the estimated seasonal high-water table.
You can say that the conventional septic systems are a substantial source of nitrogen and it may be true, but it’s not because they are conventional septic systems. If given a fair review I would bet that the incompetence and mismanagement from the leadership of the state’s septic system program is the primary cause of our states septic system nitrogen problem.
Another never discussed nitrogen pollution source is the estimated 2.2 billion gallons of unregulated raw sewage being pumped, transported and disposed all over the State. Very little is known about where the raw sewage goes after it is pumped from a septic system.
If septic system sewage is not dumped in a state-approved facility, the state agencies do not recognize its existence and certainly does not count it as a pollution or nitrogen contamination source.
Florida does not manage or monitor transported raw sewage from septic systems or verify if it was disposed of properly.
Everyday decisions can adversely affect the operation of our septic systems and their ability to protect our health and environment. Helping septic system owners take better care of their septic systems is a health and environmental benefit to everyone in Florida.
If we are not properly maintaining these systems, they are not protecting our waters. Reducing septic system nitrogen by taking better care of our existing septic systems is our first line of defense in reducing their nitrogen.
Pound per pound, dollar for dollar septic system remediation is the quickest, most efficient and effective way to reduce septic system nitrogen.