High Springs wastewater treatment facility receives FDEP grant

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 6:53 PM EST
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has given nearly seven million dollars in grant money to the High Springs Waste Water Plant.

The funding was given by the department so the plant can restructure its facility.

They’re aiming to reduce their footprint on North Central Florida’s waterbodies by making sure the water that goes into them is cleaner.

Chief Engineer of Suwannee River Water Management Leroy Marshall says they expect a reduction in the amount of pollutants and nitrogen going into the groundwater.

The plant’s current model directs treated water into a spray-field, which he says causes more water to be lost and less filtration.

Marshall says the facility will substitute the spray-field by building a wetland, which actually helps “clean the water a little bit more and help it get back into the groundwater without as much loss as you would have with a spray-field.”

And this is not the first time this type of project has been done in North Central Florida.

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According to Bob Knight, director of the Florida Springs Institute, a Lake City wastewater treatment plant directed water to a spray-field for many years.

Once they directed to wetlands instead, they saw positive results.

Knight says the project was intended to “reduce the nitrogen levels to the Ichetucknee Springs and river and it’s certainly doing that compared to the spray-field that was there previously.”

The treatment facility will also expand their building to be able to transfer homes who use septic tanks to central sewer.

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