October 20, 2019
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The Florida Statutes

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 403
ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
View Entire Chapter
Section 403.086, Florida Statutes 2009

403.086  Sewage disposal facilities; advanced and secondary waste treatment.--

(1)(a)  Neither the Department of Health nor any other state agency, county, special district, or municipality shall approve construction of any facilities for sanitary sewage disposal which do not provide for secondary waste treatment and, in addition thereto, advanced waste treatment as deemed necessary and ordered by the department.

(b)  No facilities for sanitary sewage disposal constructed after June 14, 1978, shall dispose of any wastes by deep well injection without providing for secondary waste treatment and, in addition thereto, advanced waste treatment deemed necessary by the department to protect adequately the beneficial use of the receiving waters.

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter or chapter 373, facilities for sanitary sewage disposal may not dispose of any wastes into Old Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, St. Joseph Sound, Clearwater Bay, Sarasota Bay, Little Sarasota Bay, Roberts Bay, Lemon Bay, or Charlotte Harbor Bay, or into any river, stream, channel, canal, bay, bayou, sound, or other water tributary thereto, without providing advanced waste treatment, as defined in subsection (4), approved by the department. This paragraph shall not apply to facilities which were permitted by February 1, 1987, and which discharge secondary treated effluent, followed by water hyacinth treatment, to tributaries of tributaries of the named waters; or to facilities permitted to discharge to the nontidally influenced portions of the Peace River.

(2)  Any facilities for sanitary sewage disposal shall provide for secondary waste treatment and, in addition thereto, advanced waste treatment as deemed necessary and ordered by the Department of Environmental Protection. Failure to conform shall be punishable by a civil penalty of $500 for each 24-hour day or fraction thereof that such failure is allowed to continue thereafter.

(3)  This section shall not be construed to prohibit or regulate septic tanks or other means of individual waste disposal which are otherwise subject to state regulation.

(4)  For purposes of this section, the term "advanced waste treatment" means that treatment which will provide a reclaimed water product that:

(a)  Contains not more, on a permitted annual average basis, than the following concentrations:

1.  Biochemical Oxygen Demand (CBOD5) ............ 5mg/l

2.  Suspended Solids ............ 5mg/l

3.  Total Nitrogen, expressed as N ............ 3mg/l

4.  Total Phosphorus, expressed as P ............ 1mg/l

(b)  Has received high level disinfection, as defined by rule of the department.

In those waters where the concentrations of phosphorus have been shown not to be a limiting nutrient or a contaminant, the department may waive or alter the compliance levels for phosphorus until there is a demonstration that phosphorus is a limiting nutrient or a contaminant.

(5)(a)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter or chapter 373, when a reclaimed water product has been established to be in compliance with the standards set forth in subsection (4), that water shall be presumed to be allowable, and its discharge shall be permitted in the waters described in paragraph (1)(c) at a reasonably accessible point where such discharge results in minimal negative impact. This presumption may be overcome only by a demonstration that one or more of the following would occur:

1.  That the discharge of reclaimed water that meets the standards set forth in subsection (4) will be, by itself, a cause of considerable degradation to an Outstanding Florida Water or to other waters and is not clearly in the public interest.

2.  That the reclaimed water discharge will have a substantial negative impact on an approved shellfish harvesting area or a water used as a public domestic water supply.

3.  That the increased volume of fresh water contributed by the reclaimed water product will seriously alter the natural fresh-salt water balance of the receiving water after reasonable opportunity for mixing.

(b)  If one or more of the conditions described in subparagraphs (a)1.-3. have been demonstrated, remedies may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1.  Require more stringent effluent limitations;

2.  Order the point or method of discharge changed;

3.  Limit the duration or volume of the discharge; or

4.  Prohibit the discharge only if no other alternative is in the public interest.

(6)  Any facility covered in paragraph (1)(c) shall be permitted to discharge if it meets the standards set forth in subsections (4) and (5). All of the facilities covered in paragraph (1)(c) shall be required to meet the standards set forth in subsections (4) and (5).

(7)(a)  The department shall allow backup discharges pursuant to permit only. The backup discharge shall be limited to 30 percent of the permitted reuse capacity on an annual basis. For purposes of this subsection, a "backup discharge" is a surface water discharge that occurs as part of a functioning reuse system which has been permitted under department rules and which provides reclaimed water for irrigation of public access areas, residential properties, or edible food crops, or for industrial cooling or other acceptable reuse purposes. Backup discharges may occur during periods of reduced demand for reclaimed water in the reuse system.

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter or chapter 373, backup discharges of reclaimed water meeting the standards as set forth in subsection (4) shall be presumed to be allowable and shall be permitted in all waters in the state at a reasonably accessible point where such discharge results in minimal negative impact. Wet weather discharges as provided in s. 2(3)(c), chapter 90-262, Laws of Florida, shall include backup discharges as provided in this section. The presumption of the allowability of a backup discharge may be overcome only by a demonstration that one or more of the following conditions is present:

1.  The discharge will be to an Outstanding Florida Water, except as provided in chapter 90-262, Laws of Florida;

2.  The discharge will be to Class I or Class II waters;

3.  The increased volume of fresh water contributed by a backup discharge will seriously alter the natural freshwater to saltwater balance of receiving waters after reasonable opportunity for mixing;

4.  The discharge will be to a water body having a pollutant load reduction goal established by a water management district or the department, and the discharge will cause or contribute to a violation of the established goal;

5.  The discharge fails to meet the requirements of the antidegradation policy contained in department rules; or

6.  The discharge will be to waters that the department determines require more stringent nutrient limits than those set forth in subsection (4).

(c)  Any backup discharge shall be subject to the provisions of the antidegradation policy contained in department rules.

(d)  If one or more of the conditions described in paragraph (b) have been demonstrated, a backup discharge may still be allowed in conjunction with one or more of the remedies provided in paragraph (5)(b) or other suitable measures.

(e)  The department shall allow lower levels of treatment of reclaimed water if the applicant affirmatively demonstrates that water quality standards will be met during periods of backup discharge and if all other requirements of this subsection are met.

(8)  The department may require backflow prevention devices on potable water lines within reclaimed water service areas to protect public health and safety. The department shall establish rules that determine when backflow prevention devices on potable water lines are necessary and when such devices are not necessary.

(9)  The Legislature finds that the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls wastes valuable water supplies that should be reclaimed for beneficial purposes to meet public and natural systems demands. The Legislature also finds that discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls compromises the coastal environment, quality of life, and local economies that depend on those resources. The Legislature declares that more stringent treatment and management requirements for such domestic wastewater and the subsequent, timely elimination of ocean outfalls as a primary means of domestic wastewater discharge are in the public interest.

(a)  The construction of new ocean outfalls for domestic wastewater discharge and the expansion of existing ocean outfalls for this purpose, along with associated pumping and piping systems, are prohibited. Each domestic wastewater ocean outfall shall be limited to the discharge capacity specified in the department permit authorizing the outfall in effect on July 1, 2008, which discharge capacity shall not be increased. Maintenance of existing, department-authorized domestic wastewater ocean outfalls and associated pumping and piping systems is allowed, subject to the requirements of this section. The department is directed to work with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the requirements of this subsection are implemented consistently for all domestic wastewater facilities in Florida which discharge through ocean outfalls.

(b)  The discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls shall meet advanced wastewater treatment and management requirements no later than December 31, 2018. For purposes of this subsection, the term "advanced wastewater treatment and management requirements" means the advanced waste treatment requirements set forth in subsection (4), a reduction in outfall baseline loadings of total nitrogen and total phosphorus which is equivalent to that which would be achieved by the advanced waste treatment requirements in subsection (4), or a reduction in cumulative outfall loadings of total nitrogen and total phosphorus occurring between December 31, 2008, and December 31, 2025, which is equivalent to that which would be achieved if the advanced waste treatment requirements in subsection (4) were fully implemented beginning December 31, 2018, and continued through December 31, 2025. The department shall establish the average baseline loadings of total nitrogen and total phosphorus for each outfall using monitoring data available for calendar years 2003 through 2007 and shall establish required loading reductions based on this baseline. The baseline loadings and required loading reductions of total nitrogen and total phosphorus shall be expressed as an average annual daily loading value. The advanced wastewater treatment and management requirements of this paragraph shall be deemed to be met for any domestic wastewater facility discharging through an ocean outfall on July 1, 2008, which has installed no later than December 31, 2018, a fully operational reuse system comprising 100 percent of the facility's annual average daily flow for reuse activities authorized by the department.

(c)  Each domestic wastewater facility that discharges through an ocean outfall on July 1, 2008, shall install a functioning reuse system no later than December 31, 2025. For purposes of this subsection, a "functioning reuse system" means an environmentally, economically, and technically feasible system that provides a minimum of 60 percent of the facility's actual flow on an annual basis for irrigation of public access areas, residential properties, or agricultural crops; aquifer recharge; groundwater recharge; industrial cooling; or other acceptable reuse purposes authorized by the department. For purposes of this subsection, the term "facility's actual flow on an annual basis" means the annual average flow of domestic wastewater discharging through the facility's ocean outfall, as determined by the department, using monitoring data available for calendar years 2003 through 2007. Diversion of flows from these facilities to other facilities that provide 100 percent reuse of the diverted flows prior to December 31, 2025, shall be considered to contribute to meeting the 60-percent reuse requirement. For utilities operating more than one outfall, the reuse requirement can be met if the combined actual reuse flows from facilities served by the outfalls is at least 60 percent of the sum of the total actual flows from these facilities, including flows diverted to other facilities for 100 percent reuse prior to December 31, 2025. In the event treatment in addition to the advanced wastewater treatment and management requirements described in paragraph (b) is needed in order to support a functioning reuse system, such treatment shall be fully operational no later than December 31, 2025.

(d)  The discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls is prohibited after December 31, 2025, except as a backup discharge that is part of a functioning reuse system authorized by the department as provided for in paragraph (c). A backup discharge may occur only during periods of reduced demand for reclaimed water in the reuse system, such as periods of wet weather, and shall comply with the advanced wastewater treatment and management requirements of paragraph (b).

(e)  The holder of a department permit authorizing the discharge of domestic wastewater through an ocean outfall as of July 1, 2008, shall submit to the secretary of the department the following:

1.  A detailed plan to meet the requirements of this subsection, including an identification of all land acquisition and facilities necessary to provide for reuse of the domestic wastewater; an analysis of the costs to meet the requirements; and a financing plan for meeting the requirements, including identifying any actions necessary to implement the financing plan, such as bond issuance or other borrowing, assessments, rate increases, fees, other charges, or other financing mechanisms. The plan shall include a detailed schedule for the completion of all necessary actions and shall be accompanied by supporting data and other documentation. The plan shall be submitted no later than July 1, 2013.

2.  No later than July 1, 2016, an update of the plan required in subparagraph 1. documenting any refinements or changes in the costs, actions, or financing necessary to eliminate the ocean outfall discharge in accordance with this subsection or a written statement that the plan is current and accurate.

(f)  By December 31, 2009, and by December 31 every 5 years thereafter, the holder of a department permit authorizing the discharge of domestic wastewater through an ocean outfall shall submit to the secretary of the department a report summarizing the actions accomplished to date and the actions remaining and proposed to meet the requirements of this subsection, including progress toward meeting the specific deadlines set forth in paragraphs (b) through (e). The report shall include the detailed schedule for and status of the evaluation of reuse and disposal options, preparation of preliminary design reports, preparation and submittal of permit applications, construction initiation, construction progress milestones, construction completion, initiation of operation, and continuing operation and maintenance.

(g)  No later than July 1, 2010, and by July 1 every 5 years thereafter, the department shall submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the implementation of this subsection. The report shall summarize progress to date, including the increased amount of reclaimed water provided and potable water offsets achieved, and identify any obstacles to continued progress, including all instances of substantial noncompliance.

(h)  The renewal of each permit that authorizes the discharge of domestic wastewater through an ocean outfall as of July 1, 2008, shall be accompanied by an order in accordance with s. 403.088(2)(e) and (f) which establishes an enforceable compliance schedule consistent with the requirements of this subsection.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 71-259; s. 2, ch. 71-137; s. 1, ch. 72-58; s. 271, ch. 77-147; s. 1, ch. 78-206; s. 75, ch. 79-65; s. 1, ch. 80-371; s. 1, ch. 81-246; s. 262, ch. 81-259; s. 2, ch. 86-173; s. 1, ch. 87-303; s. 71, ch. 93-213; s. 2, ch. 94-153; s. 361, ch. 94-356; s. 158, ch. 99-8; s. 25, ch. 2000-153; s. 12, ch. 2000-211; s. 6, ch. 2008-232.

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