The FHBA membership was treated to a comprehensive presentation by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Executive Director of The Florida Onsite Wastewater Association (FOWA) on the status of septic tank requirements as a result of the spring protection legislation. They are required on parcels of one acre or more in a spring priority focus area. The workshop focused on how we got here (DEP) and what are the options (FOWA). In addition a representative of the Department of Health (DOH) was also available for questions.
Take away include:
- The FHBA legal action has delayed the new OSTD requirements until January 1, 2019. The DEP announced this week the delay is approved for the full 6-months.
- The new requirements of nitrogen reduction systems will cost more. How much depends on many site specific factors.
- Given the current environment with algae blooms and red tide scares, requiring advanced nitrogen reducing septic systems is likely here to stay. We also see local governments not in priority focus spring areas seeking similar requirements for parcels near waterways.
- New rules at the DOH (fast tracking approval of new systems receiving an NSF 245 designation) will help bring in new OSTD systems to Florida, creating more competition with the goal of reducing prices. How soon is the question.
- Get familiar, and have your on-site contractor, get familiar with your options. The six month delay was granted so that FHBA members could familiarize themselves with the new requirements and plan and design new builds accordingly.
- We do not expect any additional delays beyond January 1.
Please follow this link for info on alternatives available to you now. If you have questions, please contact the FHBA Director of Governmental Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. The FOWA is the best resource for your OSTD provider.
We will continue working with policy makers on processes which encourage new septic technologies to be offered in Florida.