Nearly 90,000 Tons of Sewage Finds Its Way Into the St. Johns River

For the last ten years nearly 90,000 tons of sewage sludge has been dumped into the St. Johns River watershed. The byproduct of wastewater treatment pitched as free fertilizer is devastating the headwaters of the St. Johns.

In 2007 the Florida legislature gave the Lake Okeechobee watershed special protections, essentially banning the land disposal of sewage sludge in the area. It was a response to the nutrient pollution that was degrading the lake’s water quality.

So now more than 89,000 tons of sewage sludge has been dumped into the St. Johns River watershed and it’s having a devastating effect there too.

Its being dumped in agricultural areas around the headwaters of the St. Johns River. Pitched as an opportunity to provide free fertilizer, but what’s really happening is just a cheap disposal opportunity for utility companies and the volume of the waste is overwhelming the soil and the waterways.

Nutrient pollution fuels the massive toxic algae blooms that are devastating the wildlife.

 

 

Photo: “DSCN2337” by Moultrie Creek is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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