The Polk County Commission voted unanimously today to approve a $272,243 contract with Dewberry Engineers to conduct a septic-to-sewer evaluation in the portion of the Everglades Headwaters in Polk County.
The study area stretches from Crooked Lake to the Kissimmee River and north to the shore of Lake Hatchineha in eastern Polk County.
This follows the completion of a Watershed Assessment Model by Polk County’s Parks and Natural Systems Division in cooperation with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
The study will be conducted in cooperation with Polk County Utilities.
The Polk study was intended to improve data on the source of nutrients—primarily nitrogen and phosphorous–entering the creeks, rivers and lakes in the basin.
Discharges from septic tanks have been identified as one of the major sources of that pollution.
The study will examine what types of measures are feasible to reduce the pollution flow by connecting residences and businesses using septic tanks to central sewer systems and looking at measures that are needed as what is now rural or farmland in the study area is subject to more intense development.
The study is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.