To protect the lagoon, Brevard expected to pass permanent conventional septic-tank ban

County commissioners to vote Tuesday night

VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County commissioners Tuesday night are expected to pass a permanent ban on new installation of conventional septic tanks.

The county said nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen seeping into the lagoon from older-model septic tanks are causing algae blooms and fish kills.

A current five-month temporary ban on new installation expires this month.

The county said the point of a ban is to encourage new developers, when possible, to choose sewer over septic.

County officials said septic drain fields contribute approximately one-third of all new nitrogen pollution.

"We can keep cleaning the lagoon, but if we keep putting the stuff in there, we're fighting ourselves," Commissioner Jim Barfield said.

Barfield expects the final vote to pass the commission unanimously like a first reading did in September.
Under the new ban, people living beach side, on Merritt Island, or within a couple hundred feet of the lagoon on the mainland would be unable to put in a conventional septic tank.

The change has received mixed reactions.

A Rockledge landlord argued that the newer, nutrient-reducing septic tanks can cost twice as much and  feared the cost of living will increase as a result of a ban.

Another neighbor living on the Indian River lagoon supported the ban.

"It will stop the promotion of algae growth and pollution in the lagoon," said Richard Familton, who lives on Rockledge Drive. "In the long term, it will preserve the lagoon which will increase the property values along the river."

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