First individual sewer installed in front yard of Apopka homeowner

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On Friday, March 19, Susan Fritche was in her front yard with city of Apopka officials, including Mayor Bryan Nelson, officials from the St. Johns River Water Management District, and several others when the distributed sewer system was shown publicly for the first time.
A distributed sewer system is a miniature wastewater treatment unit that is installed underground at a residence and provides sewer service to individual homes. About the size of a septic tank, officials say that the unit doesn’t operate like a septic tank, but that the wastewater is treated inside the unit by creating optimal conditions for naturally occurring bacteria to break down and digest organic materials.
Once the unit is installed in a homeowner’s yard, a small computer and network interface is mounted to the side of a house much like an electric meter and the computer allows the utility – the city of Apopka in this case – to monitor and operate the wastewater treatment unit from a remote location.
Officials have said that tests in 2017 showed that the new technology reduces the amount of total nutrients back into the ground by about 70 percent when compared with septic tanks, and that those differences were measured almost immediately after the distributed sewer system was installed.
Fritsche’s house will be one of 15 in Wekiva Glen that will receive the miniature sewer system. At this point, funding for the system to be installed is through the St. Johns River Water Management District, a state-funded agency.
While the installation of the units won’t cost Fritsche and other homeowners any money, they will pay a monthly sewer bill to the city of Apopka for its monitoring of the system to make sure that it’s operating properly.
Mayor Nelson said the distributed sewer system should help not only the water quality but do it at a cheaper price than converting septic tanks to regular sewer systems.
If things pan out with the use of the miniature sewer system in Wekiva Glen, state funding for more units in other areas of Apopka could become available from the state.

The full story begins on page 1A of the Friday, March 26, issue of The Apopka Chief.

The Apopka Chief and The Planter are weekly community newspapers, independently owned and family operated, that have served the greater Apopka area in Central Florida since 1923 and 1965 respectively. Subscribe today!