Studies from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection revealed bacteria in Taylor County canals. Funded by county, state and federal grants, a $4 million plus sewage project is now underway.
John Gentry of the Taylor Coastal Water and Sewer District says, "What we're trying to do is eliminate the drainage from the septic tanks that's currently going into the canals and off into the coasts, trying to improve the water quality."
About 300 homes in the communities of Keaton Beach, Ezell Beach and Cedar Island will be removed of septic tanks. With the new system, sewage will be pumped away from the coast to a treatment plant.
Gentry says, "Then we'll dispose of the treated affluent by spray irrigation into the sand hills where that clean water will just soak into the ground."
The new sewer system not only improves water quality in the area, but residents say it's also their yards they're concerned with. When the tide rises as high as it is now, it usually causes flooding and damage.
John Bell of Quality Plus Services, Inc. says, "It'll make their yards better and make it safer because you don't want to come out here after a hard rain storm and your yard has filled up from the septic tank overflowing, so we're doing away with all of that."
Gentry says once the project is completed, potential safety issues with water and land should be eliminated. The sewage system is projected to be completely installed by September of this year.