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Septic-to-Sewer Project Approved for Pine Hills

Did you know that about 50,000 septic systems in Lake, Orange, and Seminole counties affect the Wekiwa Springs and the Wekiva River? State authorities estimate that about 29% of nitrates polluting the springs flow from septic systems. Eliminating septic seepage is a crucial but expensive part of a state plan for improving the health of the Wekiva River. This problem, years in the making, is finally being addressed mainly in part to a $41 million grant to help pay for the massive sewer project involving 14 neighborhoods. For Pine Hills, the result is a $4.3 million project along North Pine Hills Road. The money will help pay to connect 173 properties between West Colonial Drive and Silver Star Road to sewers.

Many properties rely on septic systems installed between 25 and 40 years ago, meaning they were due to be replaced, said Sam Weekley, Executive Director of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District. “These very old septic systems, especially from Balboa Drive north, were leaching into the Wekiwa Springs watershed,” he said. Once fully funded, the project will go through several phases, including bid, design, and implementation, which could take up to two years to come to fruition and take over four years to complete. An analysis of the plan determined that the project would create approximately 204 jobs and $16.2 million in value-added for Pine Hills.

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