Editor’s Note: Sewage disposal issues leave no time to waste

A perfect day in paradise can be spoiled by a backed-up toilet. An out-of-order sign on a bathroom door can turn a pleasant outing into an anxious search for functioning facilities. And after a storm, I can’t imagine anything more discombobulating than being told not to flush.
It’s indisputable: We all depend on smooth-functioning wastewater disposal to keep life clean and simple.
Over the next few months, our newspaper plans to explore what happens after we flush the toilet.
We plan to take a close look at how local municipalities are working to stay ahead of population and development increases during a time when that very growth is challenging the environment that defines the popular Florida lifestyle.
Adapting to this change will not be cheap. Already we’re seeing municipalities struggling to make necessary improvements.
For August, Rich Pollack spent time talking with the people who manage our waste-processing plants and gives an overview of the improvements they are making, how much it all costs and what potential disasters keep them awake at night.
Next month, Pollack plans to illustrate problems with septic systems on small, urban lots and show how new technology is attempting to address environmental concerns.
The following month, he’ll put both wastewater treatment plants and septic systems under the magnifying glass of future pressures from rising seas and climate change.
Sewage may not be a topic most of us like to discuss, but it’s about to hit us all in the wallet. Hard. Adapting our wastewater infrastructure to meet growth and environmental pressures is going to be very expensive.
I hope you’ll find these stories helpful as we all plan for the future of our piece of paradise.

Mary Kate Leming


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