For 42 years Henry Spence was never satisfied with his well water and septic tanks in the West Boynton subdivision in an unincorporated pocket of Boynton Beach .
Now, Spence is one of the residents of about 230 homes just west of the Boynton Beach Mall who might be upgraded to city water and sewer systems. But if the city does do the work, the residents would pay through a county special assessment that could cost between $5,000 and $20,000 per household, Assistant City Manager Colin Groff said.
The county would use that money to pay back the city over 20 years.
Spence, 73, says it’s worth it.
With well water, he uses four filters — three outside and one under the sink. And he says the water is harder than the city water. One time his well went dry.
“It’s a lot of maintenance you have to do,” he said.
The residents, who live east of Lawrence Road, wanted new services so the county approached the city. Boynton said yes, but a final vote of the neighborhood residents needs to take place before the plan is definite. About 70 percent of residents who participated in a preliminary vote said they wanted Boynton.
A formal and final vote for residents is expected within the next month or two, Groff said. If 51 percent of respondents are interested, the plan moves forward.
The city is paying about $7,500 for costs including the petition and public hearing processes.
Tim O’Connor, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, said he always encourages a move from well water to a city-wide water system.
“Because you have daily activity. They monitor water as it’s coming out of the water plant and they monitor the distribution points,” he said. “The best part is it’s monitored daily 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And if there are any violations they issue a boil-water notice immediately.”
Still, for some the upgrade won’t come at an ideal time. And that includes Spence.
He closed on his house in late February to move to Atlantis in a home that already has city water, he said. Before closing on the Boynton home, he bought a pump and tanks for the system. He said the well water and septic tanks were a factor in his urge to move but not a major one.