The Florida Department of Health committee responsible for implementing controversial new septic tank inspection requirements will meet Thursday in Orlando.
According to its website, the Technical Review and Advisory Panel is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Orlando Airport Marriott to discuss, among other things, "Implementation of SB 550."
The law, passed by the Florida Legislature in April and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist in June, mandates septic tank owners to have their tanks inspected every five years, whether or not the system has shown any signs of malfunctioning. Septic system inspection costs vary, but are generally in the $400-$500 range. If the system doesn't meet state standards, it can be required to be fixed or replaced at the homeowner's expense. Replacing a septic system could cost up to $15,000, according to some estimates.
The law, meant to protect Florida groundwater, goes into effect in January. About 3 million Florida residents, including 80,000 in Santa Rosa County, rely on septic systems to dispose of sewage. Statewide, many residents are realizing how costly the state mandate will be and are beginning to protest to local government officials and state legislators.
Several legislators already have said they will sponsor language to make the program less onerous or to abolish the law altogether.
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