Florida House of Representatives 1983 HB 55
By Representative Lippman
1 A bill to be entitled
--2 An act relating to potable water conservation;
3 creating the "Potable Water Conservation and
4 Land Recharge Act," to provide for grants from
5 the Department of Environmental Regulation to
6 specified counties for development and initial
7 implementation of programs for sanitary waste
8 disposal; providing purpose; providing
9 definitions; providing that such grants shall
10 be conditioned upon submission of program plans
.11 to the department for approval; providing
12 requirements with respect thereto; providing
13 program priorities; authorizing such specified
14 counties to enter into certain contracts and
15 agreements; providing procedure and a time
1 6 limit with respect to approval of plans;
17 I providing for initial program implementation
S18 within a certain time period; requiring the
SE 19 department to develop a state plan and to
S 20 submit same, together with a report, to certain
-o government officials; providing an
22 appropriation; providing for reversion of funds
S 23 not disbursed; providing an effective date.
251 WHEREAS, the Legislature requires by law secondary
26 treatment, as a minimum, for all domestic wastewater prior to
27 final disposition, and
28. WHEREAS, sewage effluent disposition for the wastewater
291 facilities in the state overwhelmingly utilizes surface water
30 discharge, and
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WHEREAS, surface water discharge contributes a
significant pollutant load to the waters of the state and
prevents water renovation and conservation efforts, and
WHEREAS, the land disposal of secondarily treated
sewage effluents promotes the beneficial renovation, recharge,
and conservation of water and, in addition, may be a more
economical method, and
WHEREAS, the efficacy of land disposal of sewage
effluents depends upon geologic and hydrologic variables which
remain essentially undefined and untested, NOW, THEREFORE,
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Short title.--This act shall be known and
may be cited as the "Potable Water Conservation and Land
Section 2. Purpose.--The Legislature has required by
law that, before disposal, all sanitary waste discharges
receive secondary treatment and, where necessary, advanced
waste treatment. Land disposal of properly treated sewage
effluents and sludge waste may be more economical and
beneficial than disposal to surface waters or deep well
injection and may conserve fresh water by returning it to an
aquifer. However, there is uncertainty about the wisdom or
practicability of land disposal in some areas of Florida under
the various geologic and hydrologic conditions which exist.
The purpose of this act is to provide for the necessary
program planning by specified counties or combinations of
counties, and to enable the state to establish and implement a
state plan, to:
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(1) Meet present and future needs of the citizens of
Florida with respect to the conservation of potable drinking
water, the enrichment of our soils, and the reduction of
pollution of our streams.
(2) Reduce the cost of related services to the
citizens, through resource recovery of trash and garbage, to
the maximum extent feasible consistent with good management
(3) Determine the maximum use of land irrigation of
treated effluents which can reasonably be made in Florida by
geographic areas of each county.
(4) Motivate each specified county to develop a
program for disposal of various wastes and present the program
to the Department of Environmental Regulation for approval.
Section 3. Definitions.--As used in this act, unless
the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Department" means the Department of Environmental
(2) "Commission" means the Florida Environmental
Section 4. County programs for sanitary waste
disposal; development of program plans.--
(1) The following counties are eligible under certain
conditions to receive state funding to develop programs for
sanitary waste disposal: Alachua County, Brevard County,
Broward County, Collier County, Dade County, Duval County,
Escambia County, Hillsborough County, Lee County, Leon County,
Manatee County, Okaloosa County, Orange County, Palm Beach
County, Pinellas County, Sarasota County, Seminole County, and
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(2) To encourage the development of a working plan in
each specified county, or the development of a joint plan
between two or more specified counties, the Department of
Environmental Regulation may grant to each named county
$200,000 toward the development and initial implementation of
a program for the disposal of sanitary waste, including sewage
effluents, sludge or solid waste, and trash and garbage. In
order to be eligible to receive such funds, each county, or
group of counties working together jointly, shall submit a
program plan to the department for its approval. Each such
(a) Evaluate the potential health hazards from the
land disposal of secondarily treated sewage effluents.
(b) Evaluate the survival of pathogenic bacteria and
viruses and their transmission in ground water and air
associated with land disposal sites.
(c) Evaluate the accumulation and dispersion in ground
water of nitrates, nitrites, heavy metals, and organic
substances in concentrations which exceed federal drinking
water standards, or which might otherwise cause rejection of
such waters for domestic, industrial, or agricultural uses.
(d) Provide for the conduct of programs at a
reasonable number of sites in the county or counties, as
appropriate, which sites the county or counties determine to
be fairly representative of the different soil types and
geological and hydrological conditions in the area, according
to department guidelines.
(e) Include recommendations to the department as to
conditions, guidelines, and criteria for land irrigation with
treated sewage effluents, proper disposition of treated sewage
sludge, and trash and garbage disposal in Florida in a manner
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best designed to improve public health and safety, and
consistent with best current practices for the welfare of the
(3) Because the Legislature recognizes that adequate
plans and action cannot be commenced on all elements of
recommended programs at once, and in order that programs may
be gradually implemented as time and funding make such
implementation possible, it is therefore recommended that, in
order to reach a final and satisfactory solution, priorities
in program plans generally be developed in the following
(a) Land irrigation of sewage effluents.
(b) Land and plant life enrichment from sludge.
(c) Resource recovery from trash and garbage.
(4) Any such county or group of counties may enter
into contracts and agreements with the department or with any
other agency, public or private, for any or all of the
services, materials, and equipment required to accomplish its
plan and is authorized to enter into agreements with other
specified counties, or their designated authorities, if same
are authorized to contract, and shall have the authority to
enforce such contracts and agreements and to recover damages
(5) Each county or group of counties shall have 1 year
from the effective date of this act within which to develop,
submit, and obtain departmental approval of its program plan,
except that such period may be extended for up to 1 year by
the department for good cause shown.
Section 5. Approval of program plans; initial
implementation; authority to contract.--
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(1) The department may approve or disapprove, in whole
or in part, any plan so submitted, and, upon disapproval of a
plan or portion thereof, the submitting county or group of
counties may resubmit a revised version for the department's
consideration, within the time limitation established in
section 4. Upon approval of a program plan, the department
shall grant to the county or group of counties submitting the
plan funding as provided in this act for development and
initial implementation of the program. No funds may be
disbursed to any county or group of counties until the plan
has been approved in its entirety.
(2) Any county or group of counties receiving such
funding shall commence implementation of its program for
disposal of sanitary waste within 2 years of the effective
date of this act, unless such period is extended by the
department for good cause shown.
Section 6. Report to the commission and Legislature;
development of state plan.--
(1) When the specified counties, or a majority
thereof, have submitted and obtained approval of their plans,
it is the intent of the Legislature that the general detailed
plans will be sufficient to provide the department with
sufficient data for the development of a future plan for
action to guide the state to conserve water, enrich our soils,
recover all resources in the most expeditious and beneficial
manner for the public, and reduce pollution to the maximum
extent possible, and the department is hereby directed to
develop such a state plan.
(2) within 2 years of the effective date of this act,
the department shall submit to the Governor, the Speaker of
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the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and
the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission:
(a) A report as to the program plans submitted by
counties or groups of counties specified herein, whether
approved or disapproved, as to any funds granted pursuant to
approval of such plans, and as to progress of each county or
group of counties receiving such funds toward implementation
of its sanitary waste disposal program.
(b) The state plan developed pursuant to the
provisions of subsection (l),.with recommendations as to
necessary funding and feasible timetable to accomplish the
Section 7. (1) There is hereby appropriated from the
General Revenue Fund to the Department of Environmental
Regulation for fiscal year 1983-1984 the sum of $250,000 for
the purpose of contracting with the University of Florida to
initiate study of assistance which it may provide as needed to
each of the counties specified herein.
(2) There is hereby appropriated from the General
Revenue Fund to the Department of Environmental Regulation for
fiscal year 1984-1985 the sum of $3,600,000 for the purpose of
making grants to specified counties as provided herein, as
necessary to provide funds to initiate implementation of
programs for sanitary waste disposal as provided by this act.
Any moneys so appropriated which have not been disbursed
pursuant to the provisions of this act by July 1, 1985, shall
revert to the General Revenue Fund.
Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 1983.
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2 HOUSE SUMMARY 1:
3 Appropriates $3,600,000 to the Department of 2.^
Environmental Regulation during fiscal year 1984-1985 for 2.
4 disbursement by the department to Alachua, Brevard, 2.3;
Broward, Collier, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, 2.38
5 Lee, Leon, Manatee, Okaloosa, Orange, Palm Beach, 2.40
Pinellas, Sarasota, Seminole, and Volusia Counties, in 2.41
6 grants of $200,000 per county, for the development and 2.42
I initial implementation of programs for the disposal of 2.43
7 sanitary waste, including sewage effluents, sludge, and
trash and garbage. Provides for reversion to the General 2.45
8 Revenue Fund of any undisbursed funds after 2 years. As 2.46
a condition to receiving such grants, requires counties
9 to submit to the department, singly or jointly, program 2.47
plans for its approval. Specifies contents and provides 2.49
10 priorities. Sets time limits for approval of plans and
for initial implementation of programs. 2.50
Appropriates $250,000 to the department during fiscal 2.52
12 year 1983-1984 for the purpose of contracting with the 2.53
University of Florida to study the provision of 2.54
13 assistance to the counties.
14 Requires the department to develop a state plan, based 2.54
upon data obtained in county plans. Requires submission 2.56
15 of the plan, as well as a report with respect to county 2.57
plans and programs, to the Governor, the Speaker of the
16 House, the Senate President, and the Florida 2.
Environmental Regulation Commission.
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