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Beach Bacteria Caused by Septic Tanks?

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

It's a breathtaking view. The beach at Shell Point is nothing less than post card perfect, but underneath the surface lies a problem.

For the past two summers this water hasn't been fit for swimming, thanks to major bacteria.

Joe Blanchard, Wakulla County administrator, said, "Problems with our swimming areas where we've had high bacteria counts and there's areas like Live Oak Island with 80 septic tanks and they have no sewer."

In addition to the 80 septic tanks at Live Oak Island, Blanchard says there are 99 houses on septic tanks at Shell Point, and several more at Spring Creek.

Dorothy Edrington is one of the Shell Point residents on the sewer system. She says it was expensive, but the cost was worth it.

Dorothy Edrington, a resident on sewer, said, "It was to me, yes, very much so because it's forever, you know. I don't have to worry about it any longer."

In Shell Point, the new homes are mandated to use Talquin's sewer, but the older homes are still sending waste to a septic tank in the yard, just a few feet from the canals.

Blanchard said, "They do not require everyone to hook up and if the county was involved we would make it mandatory that they hook up and we can remove that waste from the area."

Blanchard says the cleanup is necessary and long overdue. Blanchard says he's talking with Talquin as well as the new Public Works company, to pull sewage inland for treatment.


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