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Wakulla County finds solution to wastewater management debate

Posted at 7:17 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 19:17:28-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Wildwood Golf Course, which will soon be owned by Wakulla County, will be home to more than 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater per day.

This is a major change from the proposed site a few miles down the road on U.S. Highway 98 where the county proposed creating wetlands to filter out the nitrogen-rich wastewater.

Community Activists like Gil Damon were not excited about that option.

"This site should never be used for dumping wastewater, ever," said Damon. "The scientific analysis has come back, it's clear, it's just not a safe location."

People like Damon were concerned that frequent sinkholes in the area could have dumped the nitrogen-rich water into the Floridan Aquifer which would promote Algae Growth in Wakulla Springs.

After reviewing with engineers comparing data from both sites, County Administrator David Edwards said they decided on spending the $1.4 million on Wildwood Golf Course when it came up for sale. That sale was approved by the county Monday night.

"Come to find out, it couldn't handle the amount or the volume of recharge water that we needed to put there," said Edwards.

Peter Scalco, a retired park manager at Wakulla Springs State Park said he's happy with the decision to move the wastewater plan to Wildwood Golf Course, helping out the environment and the golf community — as the course will stay open under county ownership.

"And the beauty about it is the nitrogen that goes into the grass in the golf course can get mowed or taken offsite or used to compost or break down," said Scalco.

The County already has the pipes set up for the golf course to start receiving the treated water, which can start being pumped by the end of next month.