Vice Chairwoman Sosa advocates for Federal and State help with eliminating Septic Tanks
Miami-Dade County – On October 29, 2019, County Commissioners unanimously adopted legislation filed by Vice Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa urging the United States Congress and the Florida Legislature to provide funding to assist local communities with the elimination of septic systems.
Vice Chairwoman Sosa lead the effort to address sea level rise in our community by sponsoring legislation creating the Sea Level Rise Task Force and the implementation of its recommendations. This latest initiative is aimed at reducing the negative impacts of septic tanks on our environment Septic tank systems are particularly vulnerable to the effects of a higher water table which can compromise its effectiveness and result in groundwater pollution.
Miami-Dade County is home to approximately 108,000 properties that use septic tanks, 105,000 of which are residential, with more than 65,000 of the septic systems located in the unincorporated area. A report presented to the County Commission in November 2018 by several County departments and the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade found that nearly half of the septic tanks in Miami-Dade County break down yearly, a number that is expected to increase to 64 percent by 2040. The report recommended the elimination of septic tanks as the most effective measure to address the long-term risks associated with rising groundwater levels. However, the report estimated that the cost to connect the remaining residential neighborhoods that do not have County or municipal water and sewer service and that are within a certain proximity of wastewater infrastructure to the regional wastewater system would be approximately $3.3 billion. Vice Chairwoman Sosa’s legislation seeks funding from the United States Congress and the Florida Legislature for eliminating septic systems and replacing them with sewer system connections.
“The rising water table poses a tremendous risk on septic tanks in our community,” said Vice Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa. “Aside from damaging their ability to function, there is a great potential for pollution. Given the magnitude of the risk, it is my hope that the Federal and State government can join us in addressing this growing issue for the safety of our residents and the environment.”