Councilman says replacing septic tanks around Jacksonville is a ’30- or 50-year issue’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. City guides received an update Monday afternoon on JEA’s massive septic tank exit project in the Jacksonville area.

Many of these tanks are decades old and some fail.

Councilor Ron Salem convened a representative from the JEA on Monday to attend the city council’s committee on transport, energy and utilities.

Salem said the overall project to replace 65,000 septic tanks in the city could cost approximately $ 2 billion.

“Personally, I think this is not a problem that can be solved in 5 or 10 years. This is a 30 or 50 year old edition, ”said Salem. “But you have to start somewhere.”

In the near future, however, the focus will be on three neighborhoods in northwest Jacksonville that are high on the list to close their septic tanks. These neighborhoods are Biltmore, Beverly Hills, and Christobel.


During the meeting on Monday, the JEA representative set the timeframe for these projects, which are estimated to cost $ 45 million. Biltmore’s project wasn’t supposed to be finished until next August. Construction in Beverly Hills will begin in phases beginning in spring 2021. Then the Christobel district will be the next, but a construction date has not yet been set.

Yvonne Ward is a resident of the Christobel neighborhood who wants to see some progress on her street. Ward said she lived in the house for about 50 years and was promised that her property would be taken out of the septic tank for decades.

“It’s frustrating because we live on water,” said Ward. “At some point, when it rains, the water runs off. People can’t even get out of their homes because of the drainage and the stuff. “

She believes that if she had lived in any neighborhood other than Northwest Jacksonville, the action might have happened sooner.


“It’s because of the part of town we live in, because we’ve lived with it for a long time and they really haven’t done anything for us,” Ward said.

The JEA representative, who spoke during the meeting on Monday, said it will cost an average of tens of thousands of dollars per home to get them out of septic tanks.

Ward expressed concern that some of these properties could cost more to move out of a sewer system than the property itself.

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