Wastewater

New Wastewater Report
 

Click here to read a report on the status of the wastewater treatment facilities in Alachua County updated to include 2010 and 2011. The report includes photos, brief permit descriptions, and the results of ACEPD inspections. The graphs focus on nutrient concentrations in the treated effluent, as they are one of the threats to the quality of our water resources.  

ACEPD Wastewater Program
 

The Alachua County Wastewater Code gives authority to the county to conduct inspections and sample effluent from the 18 wastewater plants (click to see map) operating under permits issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in Alachua County.  Eight of these plants are municipal plants and the remaining 11 are smaller plants (also called package plant) located at mobile home parks, apartment complexes, hotels, and schools.  ACEPD performs routine inspections, including effluent sampling, and then sends the results to the plant owners and FDEP.  

Treated effluent (or reclaimed water) from the wastewater facilities recharges the aquifer via spray irrigation, percolation ponds, or deep well injection or is discharged directly to surface waters.  The municipal plants in the cities of Alachua and Gainesville have re-use programs for piping the treated water so it can be re-used for uses such as irrigation. Re-use for irrigation is becoming a more attractive option as water shortages are becoming more common.

Septic Systems

Septic systems are also called onsite treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS) and are regulated by the Alachua County Health Department. To obtain a permit for proposed installations, repairs, modifications, and approvals of existing system contact their office 352-334-7930.

 To increase the efficiency of your septic system (and protect water quality) you can:

  • Have it inspected by a licensed professional every 2-3 years
  • Always pump your system when recommended by a professional
  • Never put grease down the drain
  • Bring household chemicals to the Hazardous Waste Collection Center instead of pouring them down the drain
  • Use water efficiently
  • Upgrade to a performance based treatment system with drip irrigation
  • Learn more tips about your septic system

Performance Based Treatment Systems (PBTS) are designed to reduce nutrient levels and can reduce environmental impacts.

Check out this DOH document comparing PBTS- complete with vendor websites.

 
Be a Grease Buster!

Always put cooking grease in a container and put it in the trash.  Pouring it down the drain can cause sewage overflows.  Report wastewater spills to your local utility.