POINT OF VIEW: Septic to sewer conversion is vital for our waterways


Thanks to the partners of the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative — including Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County League of Cities and Florida Inland Navigation District — for their ongoing efforts to restore the lagoon’s beautiful ecosystem.

These local partners know the lagoon is the heart of our local community. That is why over the next year they are willing to put up nearly $14.7 million in local matching funds and are working to obtain nearly $3.9 million in state funding for water quality and habitat restoration. Since 1998, approximately $86 million in legislative grants and local funds have supported 52 restoration projects in the 20-mile-long lagoon estuary. The initiative is a holistic local approach to restoring the health of the lagoon through stormwater retrofits, habitat restoration and wastewater system conversions.

Palm Beach County deserves thanks for one project in particular — the proposed $667,000 conversion of septic tanks to a sewer system in the town of Hypoluxo. This effort would convert some of the hundreds of remaining septic tanks contributing pollutants to the lagoon’s watershed from North Palm Beach to Ocean Ridge.

The county and the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative are shining examples of agencies stepping up to deal with the septic threat in South Florida. Others would be wise to take heed and follow suit. Hypoluxo Septic to Sewer Conversion would be at least the third project in which local partners and the Florida Legislature have partnered to convert septic tanks to sewer systems in the Lake Worth Lagoon watershed since 1998.

Septic tanks in coastal watersheds do not receive as much media attention as other environmental issues, but they are a scientifically recognized threat to our waterways and estuaries. I feel strongly that this is an overlooked issue that must be addressed.

Projects funded through the Initiative are how water quality will be improved in the Lake Worth Lagoon. Hopefully, other communities are watching and will do their part to protect their estuaries from threats to water quality as well.

MELANIE PETERSON, WEST PALM BEACH

Editor’s note: Melanie Peterson is a member of the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: The fall of the German empire

The first modern German empire was announced by Otto von Bismarck at Versailles in 1871; it died on the Western Front in 1918. The second German empire was forged in a swift march of annexations and blitzkriegs; it lasted seven terrible years, from the Anschluss to the bunker, and died with Hitler and his cult. The third German empire is a different...
POINT OF VIEW: We need to bridge the flood insurance ‘coverage gap’

“Coverage gaps” are a topic discussed by many but understood by few. With the approach of hurricane season, this is an ideal “teachable moment.” A coverage gap is what happens when there’s a disparity between insured losses (damages that are covered under an insurance policy), and uninsured losses, which are paid for out-of-pocket...
Letters: School needs grow along with population

School needs grow along with population In the past week or so there have been several letters published castigating the Palm Beach County School Board’s request for an additional $135 million in the upcoming budget. As a parent who still has one child left in the school system, I would like to respond. While the School Board did receive extra...
Opinion: Just saying yes to drug companies

Last week we learned that Novartis, the Swiss drug company, had paid Michael Cohen — Donald Trump’s personal lawyer — $1.2 million for what ended up being a single meeting. Then, on Friday, Trump announced a “plan” to reduce drug prices. Why the scare quotes? Because the “plan” was mostly free of substance...
Opinion: Trump breaks bread, glasses and party at lunch

POTUS coming to Tuesday lunch. Translated, the president of the United States is joining 50 Republican senators in the Capitol to crash their private Tuesday lunch. Nobody is glad to hear this on the Senate side. We love the constitutional separation of powers. The Senate is the last citadel of democracy, they say. We in the press are free as birds...
More Stories