Dumping Grounds Controversy

There's a controversy brewing in Wakulla County over where to dump liquid sludge. County commissioners ordered a stop to land application of sludge because it was being done without permission. Now, the county must find a fix, but the solution could be costly.

It all starts and ends up on drying beds. Randy Merritt runs Wakulla County's sewer plant. He says the two beds can hold most of the liquid sludge produced in the rural county, but he says that wasn't the case in 2001 when the county was also taking waste from Tallahassee. That's when commissioners allowed a one-time dumping on a plot of land nestled behind Wakulla High School.

“Even though the board made the policy sludge continued to be dumped. One reason- there was a lot of sludge and nowhere to put it,” said Howard Kessler, Wakulla County Commissioner.

“We made a staff decision to take liquid sludge to the only permitted site Wakulla County has,” Randy Merritt said.

Now folks living nearby that site are voicing environmental concerns, which caused commissioners to halt the process altogether, but with the county topping the state charts in growth, the real issue at hand is too much sludge and too little storage, an issue county commissioners will have to flush out fast.

Commissioners are holding a special workshop in Crawfordville Monday night to discuss the future of sludge dumping in Wakulla County. We'll keep you updated on any decisions made.