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Connect 2 Protect

Connect 2 Protect is the County’s approach to extending sanitary sewer service to residents with septic systems in order to protect properties, health, and natural areas such as Biscayne Bay. Even when properly cared for, septic systems continually discharge nutrients into our water resources. Improving Biscayne Bay’s water quality will require significant reductions in the levels of pollutants within its watershed. Excess nutrients come from many sources, including septic tanks, which can lead to a shift to an algae-based ecosystem that impacts fish, birds, marine mammals, and other marine species’ habitats.

Compromised and failing septic systems can cause public health risks, environmental impacts, and impacts to private properties. Rising groundwater from sea-level rise will only increase the risk to human health and the quality of ground and surface waters including those that discharge to Biscayne Bay.

Approximately 120,000 properties are served by septic systems. Of that, 9,000 septic systems are vulnerable to compromise or failure under current groundwater conditions. This number increases to approximately 13,500 by 2040. The County will prioritize the conversion of parcels based on the greatest likelihood and impact from failure along with other environmental, social and economic ranking criteria.

The first focus will be on the approximately 12,000 properties that have existing sanitary sewer infrastructure available for connection. Work will then shift to expanding the sanitary sewer system to methodically capture systems based on risk. A variety of sources, including traditional and new funding mechanisms, will be required to accomplish system expansion.

For questions or to receive additional information regarding the Connect 2 Protect program or one of its construction projects please email: [email protected]

Commercial Corridors Program

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MIami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department (WASD) is currently investing $126 million in General Obligation Bond (GOB) funds dedicated to converting septic systems to County sewer service for more than 1,000 commercial properties in Miami-Dade County.

GOB Program Description
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The GOB septic to sewer conversion is composed of 35 projects, with all anticipated to be completed by 2023.

Program Status

Commercial Corridors Program by the Numbers

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225,000 Linear Feet of Pipeline Added

To date, 24,000 linear feet of new sewer lines have been installed. By the GOB’s completion, 225,000 linear feet will have been connected to the WASD system.

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500,000 Gallons Wastewater Removed

By connecting the more than 1,000 properties to WASD’s system, 500,000 gallons of wastewater will be removed from septic systems daily. Minimizing nutrient loading to the groundwater and waterways.

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11 New Pump Stations

By connecting the more than 1,000 properties to WASD’s system, 500,000 gallons of wastewater will be removed from septic systems daily. Minimizing nutrient loading to the groundwater and waterways.

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$200 Million Investment

To date, more than $5.7 million has been invested of the allocated $200 million for the combined GOB septic to sewer and water infrastructure upgrades. Local, small businesses are/will design and construct for the 35 projects and by increasing sewage capacity for the five commercial corridors, business expansion/ redevelopment will generate increased tax revenues for Miami-Dade County.

Little River Adaptation Action Area Program

The County is implementing a project to expand sewer service to more than 300 homes currently served by septic tank systems in the Little River Adaptation Action Area.  This project is funded in part by a Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coral Reef Protection Program Grant and focuses on septic tank systems that are vulnerable to impacts from sea level rise.  Compromised and failing septic systems can cause negative impacts on private properties, pose public health risks, and have negative impacts on our natural resources including Biscayne Bay.

Check back here for more information as the program advances.

Ojus Sanitary Sewer Expansion Project

By connecting to the County’s sanitary sewer services, properties located within the Ojus “urban area district” will be able to maximize land use and zoning potential that are designed to facilitate a more livable community through a mix of commercial and residential uses. This will not only benefit these property owners and the community, but also generate a positive economic impact for Miami-Dade County. The Ojus community is bounded by NE 186 -188 Streets to the north, the Florida East Coast Railroad to the east, the Oleta River to the west and NE 179 Street to the south.

Next Steps

Recognizing that 9,000 septic systems are vulnerable to compromise or failure under current groundwater conditions and increases to approximately 13,500 by 2040, the following are the next steps:

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  • Implement a program to install public laterals to support connection of properties abutting sewer infrastructure, prioritizing those that are vulnerable to compromise/failure by 2040.
  • Prioritize areas for expansion of the sanitary sewer system based on environmental, social, and economic impacts.
  • Investigate financing opportunities for homeowners for the conversion of septic to sewer.
  • Initiate residential and commercial septic system registration program.
  • Perform water quality analysis to guide investment choices.
  • While waiting to connect to the County’s sewer infrastructure, make sure to inspect and properly care and maintain your septic system. For information on how to Check to Protect your septic system and prevent it from becoming vulnerable/failing please review the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources’ Septic System Care page for maintenance tips.
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Get information on how to Check to Protect your septic system

Frequently Asked Questions

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