Originally published in The News-Press by Chad Gillis on February 9, 2021

Septic tank leakage is one of the top causes of damaging nutrients flowing to Florida’s ailing waterways, but the state is looking to cut down on that pollution through a $100 million program that’s part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposed budget.

Florida has become increasingly known in recent years for its blue-green algae blooms, which are fed in part by leaky or inadequate septic systems.

While farms and urbanized areas contribute more nutrients to inland and coastal waterways, septic tanks are a chunk of the problem as well. Experts say converting to city sewage systems will help.

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said the money is needed and that hopefully, it will help some communities clean up their water systems.

“I know a lot of local communities are waiting on the state to help them,” Cassani said. “I’m not sure how far $100 million will go, but its sounds like a good start to me.”

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