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Hot-button septic tank issue on GOP leaders’ special session list

by Dara Kam | November 4th, 2010

A bill that would have required septic tanks to be inspected every five years is on GOP leaders’ short list during a special session later this month.

Candidates throughout the state have heard an earful about the septic tank issue, especially from rural residents who complain about the cost of inspections and a blanket approach in the requirement instead of targeting older tanks.

The state health department estimates that more than half of the septic tank systems in use are more than 30 years old and no statewide inspection system is currently in place.

One solution proposed by House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon would be to delay implementation of the inspection program six months beyond the current Jan. 1 start-up date.

That would also give lawmakers time to come up with an alternative proposal during the regular session that begins in March.

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24 Responses to “Hot-button septic tank issue on GOP leaders’ special session list”

  1. Wendy Swalls Says:

    Are you kidding me? Who does the septic tank affect but the homeowner? How is this the government’s problem? Aren’t they in enough crap already?

  2. M Says:

    Why do they want to inspect these? Are people suddenly dieing due to old tanks? Sounds to me like someone who owns an inspection business knew someone in govt.

  3. Lori Says:

    It IS important. But just require homes OLDER than 20 years to have required inspections every 5, no more than 7 years. Jeez! How simple is that?

  4. M Says:

    Why would it be important? I am not convinced. I grew up with septic tanks and never heard of anyone being hurt by one!? There is so much more important stuff to spend our money on, such as education.

  5. Eric Casey Says:

    Here’s why inspecting septic systems is a good idea. Poorly functioning and failing septic tanks pose both health and environmental hazards. Untreated or partially treated effluent from these tanks leeches into the groundwater supply and/or into surface waters where other people get their drinking water. If you get your water from a well and your neighbors septic tanks aren’t working properly, you are at high risk of becoming sick from essentially drinking water contaminated from someone else’s sewage. Also, wastewater has high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus that eventually get into lakes, rivers and the ocean. These chemicals choke out oxygen, creating algae blooms and killing fish.

    In other words septic systems that don’t work properly have an impact far beyond the homeowner. And it’s not just old systems. Most people don’t understand how septic tanks operate and as a result don’t maintain them well. Some studies have shown that as many as half the septic tanks installed in the last decade are failing or not working properly due to poor maintenance.

    If you were on a sewer system, you would likely be paying anywhere from $500 -$1,000 a year for that service. Seen in that light, a one-time inspection fee of $500 to determine if you are poisoning your neighbors or contaminating the environment is a pretty small price to pay.

    The people who are opposed to this very reasonable legislation are behaving in both an ignorant and very selfish manner if they believe they are only affecting themselves. I’m sure you don’t want to drink water contaminated with my poop, and I sure don’t want to drink water contaminated with yours.

  6. Rawhide Says:

    Can you say Acreage, you tell the goverment to leave you alone, but when problems arie from the very thing you wanted out of goverment regulation you scream for help.

  7. Louie Says:

    Will this work out like the Windstorm Home Inspection plan ?
    We got the Inspections.
    Did the repairs or shored up our homes.
    Paid the Inspectors.
    And then the Insurance Co’s said, screw you, we’re raising your rates anyway.

  8. EKIM Says:

    TOO MUCH GOVT INTRUSION INTO MY LIFE. I ALSO DONT WANT MY TAX MONEY SPENT ON INSPECTING SOMEONE ELSE’S TANKS. AND I JUST VOTED FOR THESE LIARS.

    WHAT ABOUT JOBS? WHAT ABOUT THE ECONOMY? WHY ARNT MY TAXES LOWER ALREADY? AND OMG, OBAMA IS STILL IN THE WHITE HOUSE. DO THESE JOKERS KNOW HOW TO PRIORITIZE PROBLEMS?

  9. EKIM Says:

    TO ALL YOU LIBTARD SUCKERS ON HERE – JUST SHUT UP AND WATCH HOW A REAL PARTY MANAGES STATE GOVT. THERE’S NOT A THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT OUR DEATH GRIP ON THIS STUPID STATE NOW. WHEN I WANT YOUR OPINION OF HOW WE ARE DICTATING THINGS, I’LL GIVE IT TO YOU. IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, MOVE OUT

  10. what about Says:

    Corrupt politicians eventually get to handing out construction contracts to friends for installing city sewer lines so more friends can make money ‘treating’ and at times ‘dumping’ sewage. What is proof these septic systems are polluting? What about all the horse and cattle ranches? What about all the pesticides being sprayed on yards?

    Politicians see dollar signs and are too stupid to ask for environmental evaluations or review the results to determine if voters are being unfairly represented.

    You can bet there are some bankers in the government that see the interest income from loans to homeowners very attractive and enough to stab homeowners in the back.

  11. MoMoney Says:

    It is just a way for them to be able to charge another fee.

  12. Unreal Says:

    Eric Casey stated the government’s case well. However, since one of the main issues here is the well/drinking water people have, it might be more reasonable and cheaper for people who are on well water to test the water that they drink on a frequent basis. Home test kits are available. If they start coming up with higher or growing levels of bacteria, then chances are there is a problem.
    There are far fewer wells than there are septic tanks in all actuality.
    The current plans sounds like a great idea, but then you have to have bureaucrats and enforcement provided to keep up with the thousands of septic tank inspections each year.
    If I was on well water and depended on it for drinking, i would be testing it all the time. Considering the people using water wells are not paying anything, maybe they could look after themselves first.
    If a problem turns up then they could have a statute that allows inspectors to test surrounding septic tanks. Certainly the bacteria type can be identified to a particular septic tank. Science is a great thing. The cost could be offset by fines for people who allow their septic tanks to become a health hazard.

    This may seem unreasonable but a 5 year inspection period is just as unreasonable because many things can happen to a septic tank after one rainy season. If people on well water are not testing their wells already then they are not protecting themselves.

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  14. Dirty Dan Says:

    Guarantee if you dig deep enough you’ll find a campaign contributor or relative for this politician who owns a septic tank inspection or repair or replacement company.

  15. Bloggy Bayou Says:

    Americans: It’s “Time to Give Your Republican Congressman HELL” Day

    http://www.practicalstate.com/?p=3173

    Cheers

  16. Kate Says:

    Everyone on this thread needs to contact their state representative and ask for documented and specific proof that septic tanks are actually contaminating water in Florida. Creating legislation without a need for it is overreaching by government. Eric Casey, you give a very good textbook scenario. Now prove it is a fact that it’s happening here in Florida. I’d also like to hear what’s required to maintain a septic tank properly (other than pumping it when it gets full)please.

  17. Tim Says:

    This septic tank deal is part and parcel of how the Obama/democrats would get people back to work.

    They would implement regulations that require people to make improvements to their properties. Be it buying purifiers for their well water when watering their lawns, to home inspections for hurricane proof doors, windows, wind resistance fortifications, insulation, etc.

    The regulations FORCE homeowners, property owners to make improvements thereby increasing domestic production, employment and getting the cash out of the property owners hands.

    The only people who have some money are the millions and millions of babyboomers who are soon to be denied Social Security and healthcare of their choice.

    Read these words: MEANS TESTING and beware!

    If you have savings, investments, pensions, etc YOU HAVE TOO MUCH and will NOT qualify for Social Security. That’s what MEANS TESTING is.

    You will be deprived of what YOU contributed for all the years you worked, saved, did without. YOU will be penalized.

    Why? Because Congress took the monies sent into the government thru Social Security taxes and instead of saving it, they spent the excess on OTHER PROGRAMS. They raided the fund and said the budget was balanced!

    Beware! Get ready to vote in 2012. Another battle begins.

  18. Monty Says:

    This needs to be rescinded. Good job!

    Get government out of our lives. In California they already are forbidding McDonald’s to put toys in Happy Meals. That’s up to the parents to decide what their children eat, not the government telling a company to stop putting toys in a kid’s meal because it’s too attractive to children. It’s the PARENTS, not the company who control where the kids eat!

    In NY, Mayor Bloomberg wants to tax soda because consumers are getting fat. Well, don’t punish everyone because some fatso can’t control themselves.

    That’s what’s wrong with our country.

  19. Gov Elect Scott Says He Wants Less Guverment He Can Start Right Here Says:

    This SB 550 is a crime committed on the people of Florida! Stop this bill now and tell the drunks and drug addicts in Tallahassee who claim to be representing us to do so and go home and stay! We’ll send them their checks and call them if we need them! We can save much money that way!

  20. Jim Says:

    You POLITICIANS better get a life other than figuring out how to find yet another tax on the folks! You will be FIRED if you continue to follow the current practice of “tax and spend” OTHER people’s money! Do you not understand the election results from this past Tuesday?

    Look around you at your buddies who were FIRED this week before you leap into more of the under the table deals! I personally PAID for and maintain my propoerly operating septic system, and I do not OWE ANYONE, especially some GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR for bogus inspection fees for ANYTHING on my (or the bank’s) property!

    YOU must PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that my, or anyone elses system is malfunctioning and causing ANY so called posioning of the environment instead of just inferring it is doing so! I will state this FACT so it is CLEARLY understood… A properly operating septic system will not require “pumping out” as the bacteria in it will consume everything that has been processed thru a human body over time! If your septic system requires a pump out, it is simply because you are putting things in it that are NOT processed thru a human body!

  21. Henry Kelley Says:

    Eric,

    Please take your scientifically flawed argument back to the EPA. Even FDEP doesn’t buy into the algae bloom being caused by runoff, and has sued the EPA on that very point.

    This is nothing more than a tax because a Republican legislature can’t control spending, and are trying to find new and innovative ways to take money.

    After all, if you read the bill, why would the counties have to implement thus bust the money goes to the state DOR?

    Septic tanks are safe. Yes they should be checked periodically but that’s a county issue. The rural area residents cannot afford the fees, much less the fines that you failed to disclose.

    Lastly, anyone heard from Lee Constantine lately?

  22. josue Says:

    re: acreage water and septic systems. we were told we’re safe, even though arsenic and two other contaminants showed to be above safe levels “but not too much above”, whateever that means, plus water in acreage is “generally good”…whatever that means. this according to an almost 1 million dollar study. It’s like hiring an exterminators to find and get rid of mice. he finds no mice, but finds rats. however, he was not contracted to do anything about the rats. so he leaves them alone. no cancer cluster, we’re fine. what’s the diffeerence. i’m getting out of here.

  23. Earl Denney Says:

    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. A culture of corruption will grow within those money grubbing Republicans. Samson is one example. There will be more. It always happens. When you can buy a governorship what cannot be bought? Sit back and watch.

  24. twotone Says:

    Let me get this straight. The same government that pumps RAW sewage into the ocean, now wants to inspect our septic tanks, HAHA.

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