The DEP currently permits and monitors compliance of 46 privately owned domestic wastewater treatment facilities within the Indian River and St. Lucie River watersheds. These smaller facilities were constructed primarily to serve the sewage treatment needs of individual developments at a time when publicly-owned regional systems were not available. Following treatment and disinfection, the effluent is either land applied via percolation ponds and absorption fields, or is brought to more stringent reclaimed water standards and then reused in irrigation and other non-potable uses.
These smaller facilities are the remaining 20% of the total number that existed within these watersheds in 1990 when the Indian River Lagoon Act became law in Florida. The Act resulted in an effort by DEP, county and local utilities to extend sewer lines, connect and eliminate those systems likely to adversely affect surface water quality, either directly (surface water dischargers) or indirectly.
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