Toilet-to-Tap bill on Governor Scott’s desk: permits sewage effluent disposal in Florida aquifers

Dear Friends of Florida’s Waters:

The “toilet to tap” legislation is now on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk to either sign, veto or ignore and let it become law without his signature. Please call him immediately to let him know your thoughts. I am of course recommending a veto of this bill, HB 1149. It encourages sewage treatment plants to dispose of sewage effluent into drinking water supplies, both in our aquifers and in surface waters. Here is his contact info: You can call (850) 488-7146 or email to Rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com.

In case you missed my many earlier emails about this issue, here are a few important points for when you call or email:

1. The Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) will develop the rules for how this will be implemented. This is the same DEP that refuses to protect Floridians from most human health toxics that are being discharged into our surface waters.

2. Sewage effluent is contaminated with pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals, toxics, carcinogens, pathogens, etc.

3. You will hear that the effluent must meet drinking water standards before it can be injected into underground aquifers. That’s probably true, but not the case currently in South Florida where sewage is injected into underground aquifers that leak into drinking water supplies. EPA gave Florida an exemption to the rule so that the sewage could continue to be injected).

4. Our drinking water regulations do not cover pharmaceuticals and many of the toxics and carcinogens that are known to be in sewage effluent. Therefore, these chemicals will be allowed into our aquifers unregulated.

5. The surface water rules for human health toxics also do not apply to pharmaceuticals, many heavy metals, dioxins, PFOA, PFOS, and numerous pathogens. The regulations for human health toxics in surface waters designated for drinking water sources are dangerously outdated. DEP’s last proposed update to these regulations sought to increase the allowable amount for most of these chemicals such as benzene.

In addition to contacting the Governor’s office, please pass this on to everyone!!! Share it on your social media pages and help us get the word out.

Sewage effluent in our drinking water is a bad idea. It will ensure that more people are exposed to dangerous pathogens and chemicals, including antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. Once the sewage effluent has contaminated our waters, both underground and above ground, there will be no reversing.

The only reason this is happening is because we have over-pumped our aquifers in order to continue unsustainable growth and development. This is not leadership, this is lunacy.

Thank you in advance for your help and for all that you do to protect Florida’s waters.

For all of Florida’s waters,

Linda Young
Executive Director
Florida Clean Water Network

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