FREE Septic Tank and Well Elimination Program
Questions and Answers
What is the purpose of the Septic Tank and Well Elimination Program? The City of Ocala has partnered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and St. John’s River Water Management District to improve the health of Silver Springs and its tributaries through the Septic Tank and Well Elimination Program. The goal of the program is to eliminate at least 840 septic tanks in the City of Ocala and reduce nitrogen pollution discharged to Silver Springs.
How do I qualify? The program is looking at properties with septic tanks where existing sanitary sewer collection systems are available for connection. Right now, under the program City of Ocala Water Resources customers can have their septic tanks completely removed and connected to the city’s central sewer system at no cost to the homeowner. For more information, or to find out if you qualify, call the Water Resources Department at 352-351-6772 or visit www.ocalafl.org.us.
Can I be forced to connect to the City of Ocala sewer system if my property is eligible for this program? Participation is completely voluntary. The cost to connect to the sewer system and properly seal off the existing septic tank can cost thousands of dollars. With the FREE Septic Tank Removal Program homeowners will benefit with our services. Adding city sewer to a home adds resale value to the property. Having the city service also takes the burden of maintaining a failing septic system off the occupant and/or owner, leaving our Water Resource Department to properly treat the waste. As a homeowner, you will no longer worry about having the septic tank pumped or drain field failure again. Although it is not mandatory to participate in this program, The State of Florida Statute 381.0655 will require all property owners with Central Sewer available to their property to connect within 365 days of notice of availability. As the State of Florida is currently providing a Grant to pay for these connection costs, we urge all citizens to take advantage of this opportunity.
I’m already paying for sewer even though I have a septic tank. This is a Sewer Availability Charge. This cost is for maintaining infrastructure in front of your property and ensuring it is available to serve you.
My septic tank is free. A perfectly functioning septic tank, produces approximately 42 mg/l (milligrams per liter) of Nitrogen loading into the environment. The Federal Drinking Water Standard is 10 mg/l. The states goal is to reduce nitrogen pollution. One way to achieve this goal is to remove septic tanks whenever possible, especially in urbanized areas, and in spring sensitive areas. Wastewater that is untreated can contaminate surface water, groundwater, and threaten public health. Improperly treated sewage can spread diseases such as hepatitis, dysentery, and other diseases resulting from pathogens in drinking water. Lakes, springs, and streams may also be compromised.
What will I pay once connected to the city sewer system? See the link below to our current rate book. A typical family (3-4 persons) that uses 6000 gallons per month, will see an increase of approximately $15-$20 dollars per month.
Will I ever have to repay the impact fees or cost on construction? No
Are commercial or non-profit properties currently included in this program? Each property is considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Water Resources at 352-351-6772.
Could I be forced to connect to the sewer system in the future? The State of Florida Statute 381.0655 will require all property owners with Central Sewer available to their property to connect within 365 days of notice of availability. As the State of Florida is currently providing a Grant to pay for these connection costs, we urge all citizens to take advantage of this opportunity.
What happens if don’t connect now, but may want to in the future? Am I still eligible? Grant funds may no longer be available to provide a no costs connection. As a result, the costs for connection would be the responsibility of the property owner.
Who can I contact with any additional questions regarding the program? Please call the Water Resources Department at 352-351-6772 and ask for Renee O’Donnell or Richard Knight.
Who will be managing the construction and completing the connection to my home? The Water Resources Department will be responsible for contracting with certified plumbers and manage the day to day construction activities.
How long will construction take once they start on my property? Typically for completion of the connection, abandonment of the septic tank and restoration of your property plumbers may be on site for two weeks.
What can I expect as far as restoration of the areas disturbed during construction? The contractor or plumber is required to return each property to its pre-construction condition.
Is the work completed by the certified plumbers covered by any type of warranty? Yes: There is a one year (1) Material and Workmanship warranty.