Remove Septic Tanks on beaches and lakes

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Jim Tucker, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Seagrovegirly

    Seagrovegirly Beach Comber

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    Hope they retest by this weekend. Would love to play in the water but will not go near it with bacteria issues.
     
  2. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    In regards to the title of this thread, I would love to see the septic tanks go, but there is a vocal group of tank owners who seem to think having a leaky septic tank is protected by the 14th Amendment. It will never happen.

    Regarding the issue of people being sick from getting in the gulf, I must say I have seen no bump in people with GI illness. If there are clusters of tourists getting gastroenteritis the odds are way more likely it is due to viral infection that spreads like wildfire among confined groups. Think norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships you hear about on the news from time to time. Something about the scenario where the water that would feed bacteria into the gulf being clean (the dune lakes) while the gulf coloform levels are high just does not make sense. I like the theory that this is a fluke due to extraordinary runoff from points west combined with conditions that favor the bacteria proliferating. We'll see, I guess.
     
  3. Scooter

    Scooter Beach Fanatic

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    Bent,

    I did not go out to eat the entire time that I was there. The Walton county sheriff drove right behind us on Grayton beach with his loud speaker making the announcement. He would stop every few feet or so and make it again. People down by the water didn't even hear him. They actually came up and asked us what he said. I know most people do not want to believe it was from the Gulf. Believe me, I'm getting ready to build a home in Grayton, and this worries me. I do believe though that it was an isolated incident due to the heavy rains over the previous weeks. Pensacola hadn't had a deluge like that since the 1800's. Regarding the septic tank drains, I would be willing to join some type of committee to investigate and work to eliminate them completely.
     
  4. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    There is also a lot of farmland to consider in that area near the Delta. I am glad you raised this.

    I was sick as a dog in May in Sowal and it was definitely not from swimming in the Gulf. It was most likely viral or food poisoning. My husband had it before we left for Sowal and I got it a few days later.

    Let us also not forgot to make sure we clean the beaches and leave them the way we found them since that contributes to water quality also. It's also normal to hear of water quality advisories after storms and after past hurricanes; the beaches have been closed until the water could be tested and was normal. Suspended and bedded sediments (organic and inorganic matter) get loose when you have more violent waters from storms, too.
     
  5. jack S

    jack S Beach Lover

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    This bacteria has a high survival rate in beach sand! Nutrients in the sand can make a perfect breeding ground! Our beaches have been polluted with dispersed oil, that has attached to sand grains, been moved by sea and wind up the beach and was deposited in a thick sedimentary layer below the surface. First the large trucks disturbed this layer, Then wave action. So don't be so quick to let BP off the hook. This enterococci bateria can live without feces.
     
  6. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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  7. Zebraspots

    Zebraspots Beach Fanatic

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    Last week every area except Holley had an advisory issued and this week every area except Holley is okay? Something weird is going on.
     
  8. justhavinfun

    justhavinfun Beach Fanatic

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    Just an opinion - When the coastal dune lakes break open there will be a great deal of lake water flowing into the gulf - I know from living on Eastern Lake, many residents still have septic tanks and with all the rain over the last few weeks the ground is saturated. I am not a scientist by any means but when you have the amount of rain and the lakes draining into the gulf, this has to contribute to the bacteria levels being measured. If you walk behind One Seagrove Place, there is a major drainage pipe that flows water from 30A into the gulf as well. How that was approved is beyond me..
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  9. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    Is the Eastern Lake outlet currently open to the gulf?
     
  10. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    That pipe drains wetlands north of Cassine Gardens, not sewer. So it is basically the same as a lake outflow, although there may be some parking lot, lawn, and road runoff at times mixed in.

    You are right about septic tanks on lakes, but we've never seen levels bad enough to cause sickness described earlier in this thread. I am for the removal of them.

    I have seen outflows stagnant for months with so much growing in them that I wouldn't put a toe in. Scary stuff after several months of summer heat and thousands of baby loads, and various dead animals in there. Good thing it's not too common.
     
  11. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    WALTON COUNTY WEEKLY BEACH SAMPLING RESULTS
    Walton County Saltwater Beach Monitoring Results


    Walton County - The Walton County Health Department conducts regularly scheduled saltwater beach water quality monitoring at seven sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. The water samples are being analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to determine whether Florida has significant coastal beach water quality problems and whether future beach monitoring efforts are necessary.


    [TABLE="width: 546"]
    [TR]
    [TD]Site
    [/TD]
    [TD]Name
    [/TD]
    [TD]Enterococci
    [/TD]
    [TD]Water Quality
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]SP-1
    [/TD]
    [TD]Miramar Beach
    [/TD]
    [TD]12
    [/TD]
    [TD]Good
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]SP-3
    [/TD]
    [TD]Dune Allen Beach
    [/TD]
    [TD]88
    [/TD]
    [TD]Moderate
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]SP-4
    [/TD]
    [TD]Blue Mountain Beach
    [/TD]
    [TD]44
    [/TD]
    [TD]Moderate
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]SP-5
    [/TD]
    [TD]Grayton Beach
    [/TD]
    [TD]56
    [/TD]
    [TD]Moderate
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]SP-7
    [/TD]
    [TD]Holly Street Beach
    [/TD]
    [TD]504
    [/TD]
    [TD]Poor
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]SP-8
    [/TD]
    [TD]Eastern Lake Beach
    [/TD]
    [TD]224
    [/TD]
    [TD]Poor
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]SP-9
    [/TD]
    [TD]Inlet Beach Access
    [/TD]
    [TD]64
    [/TD]
    [TD]Moderate
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]


    Water quality classifications are based upon United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended criteria and Florida Healthy Beaches Program Categories:
    Good = 0 - 35 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine
    Moderate = 36 - 104 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine water
    Poor = greater than 105 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine water


    Health Advisories have been issued for the Holly Street Beach Access and the Eastern Lake Beach Access based on the enterococci standard recommended by the EPA. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.


    The Health Advisories for Miramar Beach Access, Blue Mountain Beach Access, Grayton Beach Access, and Inlet Beach Access have been lifted.


    If you should have any questions, please contact the Walton County Health Department of (850) 892-8021, or visit the Department of Health’s internet Beach Water Quality website (www.doh.state.fl.us, click on “Floridians and Visitors” – under “food, Water, Air, Land,” choose “Beach Water Quality.”
     
  12. Wilderness Man

    Wilderness Man Beach Crab

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    The lakes have not been tested since January. The state does not check any of the lakes.
     
  13. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    I'd just like to mention that the people from the DOH that are doing the testing don't know why the beach test results came back the way they did. A State health representative floated the idea that it could be related to increased seaweed on the beach which tends to concentrate animal waste (from birds, mainly), but also said that was just a guess. They didn't think there were any sewage overflow or septic issues.

    I'm all for getting septic systems away from beaches and lakes, especially the ones susceptible to storm surge and such. But I don't think you can positively link those systems to the recent water quality tests up and down the panhandle.
     
  14. NotDeadYet

    NotDeadYet Beach Fanatic

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    Not positively, I agree. But think about what happens in a flood of the kind that the Pensacola area recently had, and now over around Panacea and Sopchoppy, etc. Every single septic system drain field for miles around was inundated, and I think that kind of a flood may also compromise some sewer lift stations. Also pasture and farmland, lots of that. Multiple sources for contaminated flood waters that flow down every little creek to the Gulf.
     
  15. BeachSiO2

    BeachSiO2 Beach Fanatic

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    Appalachicola oysters anyone?
     
  16. florida girl

    florida girl Beach Fanatic

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    They put styrofoam in drain fields?
     
  17. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    Holley Street and Eastern Lake Beach accesses were both re-sampled on the 27th and the results are now "Good". The Health Advisories for Holly Street Beach Access and the Eastern Lake Beach Access have been lifted.

    So we're back to normal.
     
  18. reece

    reece Beach Lover

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    just got curious about this because i know there was some flooding recently along 30A, so i wondered about the water quality and if it would be poor again, so that we could at least maybe determine that flooding is a possible reason for the high levels of fecal matter in the gulf. however, i went to the DOH florida and it looks like the 30A area hasn't been tested since october. is that just a coincidence? have they decided to stop testing as a way to bury their heads in the sand? i'm just wondering what you locals think. has anyone heard anymore about investigating this matter further?
     
  19. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    It is past due for septic tanks near wetlands, lakes, streams, creeks, Bay and the Gulf in SoWal to be removed! Seems like a good use of BP funds.
     
  20. Jimmy T

    Jimmy T Beach Fanatic

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    Bumping this thread. High bacteria levels at Grayton this
    weekend. Supposed to avoid swimming, but plenty of folks
    (kids) were out swimming.

    Some involvement by the county for identifying the extent of
    the problem and a long-term plan to fix it would be beneficial
    for all of us.
     

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