Florida Moves to Stop Piping Sewage Into the Ocean

Bill to change sewage system crawling through state legislature
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2008 3:25 PM CDT
Florida's sewage is dumped through pipes a hundred feet underwater, well out of sight of tourists.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Florida has been dumping sewage into the ocean for over 60 years, but is moving towards cleaning up its act, Reuters reports. Florida’s Senate recently passed a bill that would replace the system, which pumps 300 million gallons of partially treated waste into the Atlantic daily. Passage in the House is expected, but the state's EPA says it will take 16 years and $3 billion to close them all down.

The state has long argued the dumping causes little damage, because the waste is dispersed into the ocean. “We’ve had very, very strong evidence, but, amazingly, a reluctance by the state to admit” the discharges hurt, said one scientist. The waste is even believed to mutate some fish. The problem isn’t unique to Florida, either—California and other coastal states have similar systems.