Rockledge residents say Brevard County should dredge muck-filled canal

By Justin Warmoth - Anchor

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - Some Rockledge homeowners say the muck in the canal behind their homes is so bad they can't launch their boats without getting stuck and they want something done about it.

Muck is a result of years of nutrients and organic matter, like fertilizers or grass clippings, entering a body of water and folks who live in the Rockledge subdivision of Indian River Isles say they've seen too much of it.

"Right now, with the amount of volume of stuff that comes through, it's unrealistic to ask the homeowners to dredge it out every time it gets filled up," said homeowner Steve Colsten.

Which is why residents want to split the bill with county or state government to dredge the private canal.

Colsten says it'll cost an estimated $115,000 to remove the muck, but why should taxpayers who live elsewhere in the county and state have to help pay for something that doesn't affect them?

"Because it's really not our fault that the material is flowing into the canal. We've done everything we can do to try and minimize it," said Colsten.

According to Colsten, they can't do anything about the problem because the run-off is coming from US-1. He says when it rains, silt, vegetation and trash get into the drainage ditches along the highway and it ultimately flows into their canals -- going past the sediment baffle box that the county installed 15 years ago to help block the organic materials from getting into the canal.

Colsten said, "We've got muck that's being dumped on our land. All of the homeowners own to the middle of the canal, but we've go no control of what's being put in it."

According to the Homeowner's Association, state officials told them that they have no obligation to participate in the clean-up efforts and as for the county, they say that the baffle box should be doing its job.

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