Septic Woes Ending in Killearn Lakes


Homeowners living in Killearn Lakes units one and two have been suffering from chronic septic tank failures for years. Leon County came to the rescue, using the $5 million in Blueprint 2000 tax dollars to install a low pressure sewer system to address the issue, and it's now ready for residents to connect.

It will cost residents about $9,000 to connect to the new sewer system, but not everyone is jumping on board.

Bill Mizell said he's not, adding, "I'm not happy with the system. I don't want to hook up to the system."

Mizell says his septic system works just fine and worries about the new sewer system being electrically operated, questioning what happens when the power goes out.

Mizell said, "You're going to have to have a generator, not a cheap generator, a very expensive generator."

Even though he's not connecting to the new sewer system, Mizell will still be charged a $180 "Readiness to Serve" fee It's the law and he's not happy about that either.

Mizell said, "So I'll have to pay that, whether I like it or not."

Despite protests by residents like Mizell, the project is coming to the relief of many residents. Gary Smallridge's mother has had to get her septic tank pumped every two weeks. If she doesn't, there's failure every time it rains.

Smallridge said, "You know the rest of the story. It has to go somewhere."

And that's usually the backyard, but that may not be the case much longer. Smallridge says he plans to connect his mother's home to the new system. Not everyone is required to ditch their septic systems and connect to the sewer line. However, new construction and homes with any type of septic failures will be required to under law.

The county says there is a master permit to make the permitting process quicker to connect to the system. The hang up for some residents is over the electrical permit, which could take weeks. The county says that portion is not covered under the master permit plumbers are working under, but it is working to address that.

A building moratorium imposed two years ago as a result of the septic problems has also been, once the new sewer system officially came online.