Title: Waste Water to be Dumped in Wetlands
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00000786/00001
 Material Information
Title: Waste Water to be Dumped in Wetlands
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: St. Petersburg Times
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: St. Petersburg Times Article December 15, 1986
General Note: Box 7, Folder 2 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 62
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00000786
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

Waste water

to be dumped

in wetlands

4r ;rpa

PUco Thin Staff Wri
is putting the finishing touches on
a plan to pump up to 800,000
gallons of treated waste water
each day into a cypress swamp -
In fact, Pasco's plan is consid-
ered by the State Department of
Environmental Regulation (DER)
to be one of the most ambitious and
technologically advanced in the
Not that the DER rushed to
that conclusion. Pasco has spent
about $200,000 during the last
two years trying to get the state's
permission to use the intercon-
necting wetlands for waste water
disposal. Late last month, the DER
announced that it intended to give
Pasco the permission it needs to
move ahead with the unusual plan.
The wetlands, about 125 acres
worth, are next to the Deer Park
Waste Water Treatment Plant,
just east of Little Road in South-
west Pasco.
Much of the county's work the
past two years has been to prove to
the DER that the proposal will not
harm the environmentally sensi-
tive swampland or threaten under-
ground water supplies or the pub-
lic's health.
And in the background lies Pas-
co's rapid growth.
"That's one of the fastest-
growing areas of the county," Pas-
co utilities manager Douglas
Bramlett said Thursday. "There's
a lot that's going to happen down
As a result, the Deer Park
plant, which can now treat about
400.000 gallons of sewage daily, is
being expanded over the next year

Pasco's wetlands
discharge plan is
one of the first of
its kind in the
state and will be
monitored by
county and state

and a half to handle up to 1.2-mil-
lion gallons a day.
Much of the treated waste wa-
ter will be piped to two area golf
courses and sprayed to keep the
fairways green. Some of the water
will also be pumped into a holding
pond, for filtration into the ground
or evaporation into the air.
"So the 800,000 gallons into
the wetlands will really make us
fat," Pasco public works and utili-
ties director Bill Munz said, mean-
ing that the county will have some
leeway to work with its sewage
system in the rapidly developing
Seven Springs area.
Pasco's wetlands discharge
plan is one of the first of its kind in
the state, Bramlett and Munz said,
and will be closely monitored by
county and state environmental of-
After treatment and removal of
sewage solids at the Deer Park
plant, the water will be pumped
into the adjacent wetlands, which
consist mostly of cypress, red ma-
ple, holly and bay trees, species

that thrive in a swampy environ-
Environmental officials will
then monitor just how much of the
remaining nutrients in the water
will settle out of the slowly moving
water and be taken up by the
plants in the swamp. According to
their calculations, what settles out
should simply make the swamp
greener, not overload the natural
system with too many nutrients.
- A dense layer of organic mate-
rial underneath the wetlands, built
up after years of deposition from
)the wetlands vegetation, should
ict s a filter as the water slowly
qpigrates into the earth. During
,periods of heavy rainfall, an exist-
,ihg culvert is supposed to divert
excess water into the nearby Pith-
lachascotee River.
: The county is supposed to have
five years to operate the new sys-
:tem. That should be enough time
:for state officials to decide wheth-
er wetlands discharge of treated
waste water is an idea whose time
;has come for Florida.

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