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Poo -f! No, it’s not magic

August 31, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

I recently heard someone say that they have never maintained their septic tank and it has been over 15 years. That person apparently thinks a septic tank is a form of magic. One stat says that America averages 70 gallons of waste per person per day. So this naive person believes you can send gallons of waste to a septic tank every day for ever and it just disappears somehow.

There are 1.6 million septic tanks in Florida. Some guess that 95 percent are not maintained. That means that a city of over a million people is sending their waste to our ground water to infiltrate our water wells and/or our rivers. And yes, some of our water wells have algae.

The State of Florida passed a law some years ago that all septic tanks had to be inspected. The charge was $150. The noise made was so loud that the legislature repealed the law. There were many septic tank owners who applauded this as a recovery of freedom and rejoiced in this repeal.

Those of us living with the algae bloom and red tide are not rejoicing. Septic tanks are considered one of the primary sources of nutrients causing the pollution that is in a crisis today. While the septic tank owner saved a few hundred dollars per year, we are experiencing millions, if not billions, of lost revenue and our beautiful recreational waters once considered one of the best in the world is considered poison and off limits to boating, fishing and swimming.

Wild life is dying by the thousands. I was told that a quarter million dollars was spent every day cleaning up the dead fish. Businesses such as bait shops and resorts are practically empty.

Ironically, the millions of people suffering from this pollution are connected to sewage systems that treat the waste. This cost averages $800 a year but it keeps our waste from polluting the rivers, lakes and wells.

I suspect the septic tank owners who are saving a few hundred dollars per year feel good! Their pollution is being sent to others. What makes life better for some causes untold pain for others!

Our legislature needs to repeal the repeal.

John A. Benedict

Cape Coral



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