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No More Sewage Sludge Dumping Near St. Johns River, Advocates Demand

The St. Johns River. Photo courtesy the University of North Florida.
The St. Johns River. Photo courtesy the University of North Florida.

Advocates want an end to sewage sludge dumped near the St. Johns River.

The St. Johns Riverkeeper Headwaters Advisory Council says the sewage sludge is responsible for a toxic algae bloom in Blue Cypress Lake, south of Melbourne.

In a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and St. Johns River Water Management District, the advocates want an immediate moratorium on the dumping.

They say sewage sludge is a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process that often is used as fertilizer by farms and ranches but can pollute waterways.

They say the dumping was banned in the Everglades and now is responsible for nutrient pollution in the upper St. Johns River, Econlockhatchee River and Lake Jesup basins.

The Department of Environmental Protection says it temporarily has stopped the dumping near Blue Cypress Lake and appointed a committee to evaluate the practice statewide.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.
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