Because of the low elevations throughout Duval County, wastewater generated by businesses and homes cannot always flow through sanitary sewer systems by gravity forces alone. In many systems, it is necessary to include lift stations to assist wastewater flow.Because of extensive construction activity throughout Duval County, the Water Quality Branch has been permitting a growing number of lift stations, all of which are regularly inspected to ensure compliance with local regulations. All sanitary lift stations are required to have certified operator attendance at least once a month.
Overflows and Discharges
This permitting program is delegated to the city by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Under the current Specific Operating Agreement, the Water Quality Branch (WQB) is responsible for processing of permit applications for the construction of wastewater collection systems and the operation of wastewater treatment facilities with discharges to ground waters. Except for service connections, a permit is required for the construction of any sanitary gravity sewer or force main in Duval County. A permit is also required to construct and operate a wastewater treatment facility (WWTF)
Since the implementation of Environmental Protection Board (EPB) Rule 3 to phase-out less reliable package wastewater treatment plants by connecting to larger regional treatment facilities, 352 WWTF discharges have been removed, bringing the total inventory of wastewater treatment plants in Duval County from 393 in 1986 to 41 as of January 2004, including 22 regional facilities. Chart of Wastewater Facility Inventory in Duval County since implementation of Rule 3.
The removal of non-regional WWTFs means more than just the reduction in WWTF inventory; its effects on our water environment will be realized gradually for years to come. The removal of these discharges represents a reduction in pollutant loading on the receiving basins, lakes, creeks, and groundwater.