ORLANDO, Fla. -- Homeowners in Orange County may have to make some pricey changes to their properties after a statewide study shows septic systems could be causing long term pollution problems in the Wekiwa Springs area.
- Environmental dilemma costing homeowners in Orange County
- Septic systems to potentially cause long term pollution problems
- Basin Management Action Plan to protect Florida waterways
In 2016, Florida Legislators voted to identify which Florida Springs needed to be part of a restoration program.
Following a series of algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon, and South Florida in 2016, Florida Legislators decided to take a closer look at Florida waterways. They identified 30 waterways which need additional protection and created the Basin Management Action Plans.
Among the waterways, the Action Plan will affect the Wekiwa and Rock Springs water basin in upper West Orange County .
Starting July 1, the Basin Management Action Plan goes into effect, which means around 21,000 homeowners will have to follow stricter guidelines concerning their septic systems in the near future.
One of those homeowners impacted is Andrea Samson who says she is concerned the changes she will have to make for her property will be too expensive, and more than most of her neighbors can afford.
"We all have budgets. The costs of these systems annually and monthly, with maintenance and repairs, it’s going to break our homeowners," Samson said.
Currently, Samson has a passive septic system which she says has low maintenance costs. Following the implementation of the study on July 1st, Samson will soon, in the next few years, have to upgrade her system to an advanced system.
Samson says she's been told the systems initial replacement cost will be paid for, but has not been given any figures and feel like there isn't enough information about the new system out there.
"I feel like we are in the same place we were ten years ago when this all started," Samson said. "We need a passive alternative, which homeowners can afford to put in -- that isn't going to blight all neighborhoods and solves the nitrogen issue without destroying people and neighborhoods."
We're told the study's action plan called the Basin Management Action Plan goes into effect July 1st. Homeowners replacing their septics will then have to upgrade to the advanced systems. Other homeowners over the course of the next five years will learn more about their deadlines.