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New Funding For Removing Septic Tanks Near Indian River Lagoon

Fish kills are just one thing that can be reported on the FWC app. /File photo, Amy Green
The fish kill in March clogged much of the northern Indian River Lagoon with floating carcasses, like this residential canal in Cocoa Beach. Photo by Amy Green

Rockledge is getting additional funding to remove 143 septic tanks from near the Indian River Lagoon.

The septic tanks are among some 300,000 estimated to be in the five-county region of the lagoon.

Clay Henderson of the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience at Stetson University says the septic tanks are designed to release water into their environment.

"The water that goes back in is rich in nutrients, and so you get high amounts of nitrates that come out of this and then find their way back into the system. And when you get algae blooms like we have now those nutrients are some of the prime causes for that."

An algal bloom triggered this spring's stunning fish kill.

Rockledge, the St. Johns River Water Management District and Legislature agreed in 2014 to remove the septic tanks. The city is getting additional funding for unexpected costs.

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