Okay. I really don’t want this to morph into a political blog, and I know this is my second political entry. I guess I need to start another blog for this stuff, but right now I want you to know what’s happening. It’s too important to ignore. I hope local readers will pay attention and encourage elected officials to speak up and represent us on this issue.
The following is my e-mail to the Lake County Commissioners. It relies heavily on information found at http://www.proprights.com because they did such a beautiful job summarizing why the Department of Health’s own review panel was unanimous in their opposition to the rule. Please take the time to learn about this issue if you live in the Wekiva Basin. It could cost you tens of thousands of dollars with no benefit to our groundwater.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Septic tanks in the Wekiva Basin
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 15:48:56 -0400
I learned on Tuesday that the Department of Health is proceeding with plans for alarming rules regarding septic tanks in the Wekiva Basin.
When my husband and I moved to Lake County four years ago, one of the very first things we did was attend a meeting in Apopka on this same issue. At that time, we each filled out comment cards requesting copies of the PowerPoint presentation (since attendance was so high, we could not get copies at the meeting; there were simply not enough on hand). We provided our e-mail addresses and mailing address and asked to be kept informed as the issue developed. We never heard another word from any official agency.
On February 17, I learned of the Technical Review and Advisory Panel (TRAP) meeting to be held on the 19th. Due to the short notice, I was unable to adjust my schedule to attend, but I understand that the Panel (comprising professional engineers, a real estate professional, representatives of the septic tank industry, representatives of local governments and county health departments, a soil scientist, representatives of the home building industry and an environmental health expert) was unanimous in its opposition to the rule.
I believe that citizens have not received adequate notice about the proposed rule. I don’t understand how the Department can pursue this rule when they say that only 6% of the nitrogen input in the area comes from septic systems. I oppose this rule because I do not see any benefit that outweighs the expense to private citizens. In this economy, if there are not immediately clear benefits to this Rule, it simply shouldn’t be adopted.
I hope that you, too, will oppose the Rule and strongly encourage the Department of Health to answer these questions before proceeding any further with implementation of this Rule.
Are there studies that accurately quantify the impact of normally functioning standard septic systems on Wekiva water quality?
Have field studies been conducted in the Wekiva area or other areas in Florida with similar soil types to demonstate that the proposed rule would result in reduced nitrogen levels in ground water?
Has the Department of Health conducted a comparative or cost-benefit analysis of alternatives to the requirements of the proposed rule?
Has any consideration been given to the financial impact of this rule? Has anyone considered the citizens who will pay for the new systems?
Thank you for your consideration.