Position on SB 550 Maintenance Program

Oct 19, 2010, 09:31 ET from Florida Onsite Wastewater Association

LAKE MARY, Fla., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Florida Onsite Wastewater Association (FOWA) supports an onsite sewage treatment system evaluation program, as a proactive approach to:

  • Protect public health;
  • Ensure that Florida's valuable water resources are protected from pollution;
  • Save homeowners money by prolonging the use of their onsite systems and avoiding costly repairs; and,
  • Reducing state costs of complying with Federal mandates on clean water.

During the rulemaking process to implement SB 550, FOWA discovered complexities with the new law that need to be addressed before the law is implemented.

FOWA continues to support the intent of SB 550, however FOWA believes the Florida Department of Health (DOH) should delay the rulemaking process and the implementation of SB 550 until after the 2011 Legislative Session for the following reasons:

  • More clarity is needed in regard to the intent of SB 550 from DOH, the Legislature, stakeholders and consumers;
  • DOH needs more time to properly conduct public hearings on the proposed rule, specifically in regard to the training requirements required for contractors who conduct the evaluations;
  • DOH needs more time to develop a database to collect and utilize information for pollutant management programs including the Total Maximum Daily Loading (TMDL) programs and the upcoming numeric nutrient criteria established by the Environmental Protection Agency; and
  • FOWA does not support the requirement to repair, modify and replace drainfields that are functioning, but do not meet the stringent wet season water table separation requirements included in SB 550.

FOWA understands that the new law is not perfect, and will need to be amended during the 2011 Legislative Session to clarify its intent and further reduce costs to homeowners.  FOWA wants to continue working with the Legislature and DOH to reduce complexity in the evaluation program and limit the costs to homeowners.

Contact:  Jessica Barton, 239-481-5511, jbarton@spiroandassociates.com

SOURCE Florida Onsite Wastewater Association