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Wakulla residents weigh in on proposed Wetlands Treatment Plant to help with wastewater problem

Posted at 11:08 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 23:09:02-05

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL)  — The community is pushing back on a plan to increase wastewater capacity in Wakulla County.

Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday night questioning leaders about an Aquifer Recharge Project.

The people of Wakulla, all agreeing on the need for a waster water solution but they aren't happy about a plan the county is presenting.

"I understand this county has a problem with wastewater. Nitrates and phosphates that come out of that are dangerous to people's health," said Glenn Broga.

Broga is one of many people who packed out the Wakulla County Community Center Tuesday.

All looking for more answers on a new Wetland Treatment and Aquifer Recharge Basin.

"Why here," an audience member asked.

Engineers with Jones Edmunds and Associates and others, explaining why they think the location of the plant is beneficial health for the people and the springs.

They say this is an additional step as the county works to remove septic tanks that contribute to nitrogen levels in Wakulla Springs.

"It will actually reduce nitrate concentrations just from dilution," said an engineer.

But people are still having a hard time getting on board.

"It's bad for our coast spring, its bad for our fisheries and it's bad for our tourism economy," said Gil Damon a former Wakulla Springs Park ranger.

People asking the county to relocate, but engineers say that's not the best option.

"If we send it outside of the basin the problems solved, right? But no, the problem just gets moved from one place to another," engineers explained.

The land for the project has already been purchased, but commissioners have not officially signed off on what will go there.

"This is a very special place we really need to be careful with what we do," said Robert Capitano.

As those in the community are asking them to reconsider.

The county says after engineering surveys the proposal will be brought to the commission for approval.

The project is expected to cost between 750,000 dollars to $1 million.