North Port to weigh costs on septic to sewer conversion for homeowners

NORTH PORT – North Port city commissioners will reconsider the concept of expanding sanitation and water supplies to households in the city and will discuss potential connection costs at their final scheduled meeting in 2021 on Tuesday.

The board last discussed a plan in May to provide water and sewage to 29 areas of the city originally managed by General Development Corp.

Beforehand:North Port Commission takes first steps towards city-wide water and sanitation

In a 3-2 vote at that meeting, the commission approved both a water and sewage expansion plan and a $ 474,796 design contract for the first phase of the expansion with Kimley Horn & Associates. But all three board members who agreed to the move – then Mayoress Jill Luke, Barbara Langdon and Alice White – also pledged to approve the expansion if it turned out to be too costly for residents.

The most recent reference available as part of the proposal – dated May 2019 – stated that in this part of North Port there are 11,158 plots in the sewer system, 16,332 occupied plots in septic tanks; and 28,332 vacant lots penned in for the well and sewage treatment plant service should the owners decide to build there.

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The state’s Clean Waterways Act, partly triggered by an 18-month bloom of red tides and blue-green algae in southwest Florida in 2017-18, went into effect in June 2020 and calls for a reduction in nutrients in state waterways.

On site, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation commissioned the creation of a water quality playbook, which was published online in January. Although available for statewide use, the playbook uses the Sarasota County’s waters as a model.

Beforehand:Gulf Coast Community Foundation publishes online water quality playbook

More than a third of Sarasota County’s 47,864 wastewater treatment plants are in North Port.

Sarasota County is in the process of upgrading its wastewater facilities to advanced wastewater treatment standards for excess nitrogen and phosphorus.

Both the city and the county have pushed in part to create eligibility for state or federal grants to subsidize construction.

Related:The move from septic tanks to sewer systems is seen as a solution to reduce nutrients in order to combat the red tide

Ironically, well-designed septic tanks can purify wastewater better than wastewater systems without AWT. The state environmental protection ministry has to issue new rules for the installation of new septic tanks by July 1, 2022.

Older, traditional sewage treatment plants designed to remove bacteria and pathogens from wastewater are not necessarily optimized to reduce excess nutrients, although many who question the cost-effectiveness of converting septic tanks to sewers suggest remedial action To take cleaning, such as B. filtering the wastewater through wood chips and sawdust, can remove nutrients considerably and are cheaper than connecting households and companies to sewage treatment plants to the central sewer system.

Related: Organic carbon can reduce nitrates in wastewater

On Tuesday, the city commission will discuss the conversion with a framework that estimates the cost of connecting to central sewage at $ 21,000 per home and water at $ 13,000 per home.

They will discuss options that would limit the cost of connecting water and sewage to a maximum of $ 11,000 for an existing homeowner and $ 6,000 for houses with sewage and municipal water.

In addition, the board will discuss the merits of compassionate use programs, which would defer paying these costs until the sale or transfer of a property and reduce up to half the annual payments if the guidelines for income eligibility are met.

The commission will meet at 10 a.m. at North Port City Hall, 4970 City Hall Boulevard.

Earle Kimel primarily covers South Sarasota County for the Herald-Tribune and can be reached at [email protected] Support local journalism with a digital subscription to the Herald-Tribune.

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