PALM BAY, Fla., Jan. 9, 2019 — A three-phase septic-to-sewer and stormwater treatment project in Merritt Island will benefit water quality in the Indian River Lagoon — including Banana River Lagoon — thanks in large part to a cost-share grant from the St. Johns River Water Management District.
“We’re proud to partner on projects that provide effective solutions to protecting water quality,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “This water quality project is expected to capture approximately 2,500 pounds a year of nitrogen and 825 pounds a year of phosphorus before it can reach the Banana River Lagoon, benefiting water quality for decades to come.”
During the project’s initial phase, 23 commercial properties — most with decades-old septic tanks — abandoned their septic systems and connected to Brevard County’s sewer system. Phase two, currently involves constructing stormwater treatment infrastructure and a water quality treatment train, which will pipe an existing ditch, divert untreated stormwater to a treatment pond through a bioswale, and retrofit the outfall with a denitrification bioreactor. Phase two construction also includes a sanitary sewer main to serve approximately 60 parcels within the Cone Road industrial area. Phase three construction includes abandonment of the 60 septic tanks and connecting the parcels to the sewer main constructed under Phase two.
“This project will provide a substantial number of benefits to the public. With the elimination of over 80 septic tanks, improvements to the quality of the groundwater will be significant, as well as a reduction of nutrients going into the Banana River/Indian River Lagoon,” said Larry Lallo, executive director of the Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency. “.”
District cost-share funds constitute approximately $912,000 of the $2.8 million construction cost, which includes the stormwater improvements and connecting commercial properties to the county’s sewer system.