Septic to Sewer Introduction
The Indian River Lagoon is North America's most diverse estuary with more than 4,300 species of plants and animals, including 35 that are listed as threatened or endangered. The Lagoon also has one of the most diverse bird populations anywhere in America. Nearly one third of the nation's manatee population lives here or migrates through the Lagoon seasonally. In addition, its ocean beaches provide one of the densest sea turtle nesting areas found in the Western Hemisphere.
The Lagoon has faced challenges over the years. Fishery populations are reduced; salt marshes, mangrove wetlands, and sea grasses are lost. Shellfish harvesting areas grow smaller and are closed.
Directly or indirectly we are all responsible for maintaining a healthy Lagoon. Indian River Board of County Commissioners has made cleaning the Lagoon a focal point in their agenda. As residents, business leaders, government servants, visitors and responsible individuals, we can do our part to have a positive affect on the Lagoon. Numerous symposiums on the health of the Lagoon have addressed potential impacts from existing septic systems. Therefore, Indian River County Department of Utility Services, with the insistence from some of the Study Area residents, has taken a lead role in evaluating the feasibility of bringing centralized sewer services to residents currently on septic. The studies will investigate the possibility of sewer services to an area that can have a benefit to the lagoon by reducing nutrient loading.
Countywide Septic to Sewer Conversion Evaluation
North Sebastian S2S
The North Sebastian Septic to Sewer (S2S) Phase I Conversion Project deals with the installation of centralized gravity sewer service for 58 parcels within the un-incorporated Indian River County and the City of Sebastian city limits (Sebastian). The following items were approved by the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners (BCC):
December 20, 2016 (prior to actual bid prices)
- Initial approval
- Staff directed to bid project
- Follow county assessment procedures
- Adopt the special 2% APR interest rate for the Phase 1 S2S project area
May 16, 2017 (after receipt of actual bid prices)
- Funding Allocations:
- Utility reserve funds – 20%
- Sales Tax – 20%
- Cost-share Grant – 21.80%
- Owner portion – 38.20%
Documents and Maps
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why was this area selected?
A: This area was selected due to its proximity to the lagoon, depth to water table and the economic benefits to the mostly commercial properties, in which growth has been historically hampered by septic tank restrictions. Converting to sewer will allow for environmentally sound infrastructure growth to the area and lagoon. Please click for more information on the North Sebastian Area Feasibility Study.
Q: What does this area encompass?
A: It is generally described as having a western limit of US Highway 1, an eastern limit of the Indian River Lagoon, a northern limit of Indian River Drive connection to US Highway 1, and the southern limit as Main Street. View the map.
Q: Why change to sewer?
A: Septic systems, especially failing ones with minimal treatment efficiencies, can affect the groundwater and the lagoon itself, carrying bacteria and viruses harmful to both human and aquatic organisms.
Q: When will the project start and finish?
A: Tentative Schedule as outlined below:
- Public Hearing for Resolution III (Confirming the project) – July 18, 2017
- Begin Construction – August/September 2017 (If Resolution III is approved)
- Complete construction- Late summer/early fall of 2018.
Q: When can property owners connect?
A: The following needs to happen prior to connection:
- Final inspections and clearance by the County
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) clearance
- Final As-built submitted/approved
- Resolution IV (As-built) adopted by BCC
- It is estimated that Property owners tentatively can begin the connection process in the late summer/early fall of 2018.
Q: I am a property owner within the conversion area. Is this going to financially impact me?
A: Yes, there will be costs associated with the assessment and impact fees. Property owners were notified via certified mail on June 26, 2017 as to the assessment amount. The Map ID No. on the notification can be compared to the interactive map. In addition to the assessment amount, owners connecting to sewer would also incur the following:
|Sewer Impact Fee Per Code 201.09
||ERU @ $2,796.00 Each
||Deposit @ $50.00 per ERU
|New Service Fee if not an existing utility customer
||New Service Fee @ $25.00
Please note: For those properties that have an existing structure and septic tank, there will be costs to upgrade the on-site plumbing. The property owner would be required to hire a licensed contractor to properly abandon the septic tank and reroute the flows to the new sewer main.
Q: How did you calculate my assessment amount?
A: The assessment amount on your property was based on a fair share cost of the project. The fair share cost is based on a Hydraulic Fair Share (HFS)/ERU allocation. An HFS/ERU is the amount of water used or wastewater produced by a typical residential unit, which water use ranges from zero to three hundred (300) gallons per day on a maximum day basis or zero to two hundred fifty (250) gallons per day on a maximum month basis. For example, a single family home is assigned one (1) ERU and commercial/non-residential units are assigned ERU’s based on County Code 201.07. The potential consumption calculations were based on the underlying future land use designation, zoning, current ERU’s on existing parcels with county water, and the size of each “parent” parcel.
Q: Will there be more areas subject to conversion?
A: Yes, dependent on grant and/or funding availability. Phase 1 encompasses the above area. Phase 2 will consist of the area west of US Highway 1/Roseland Road. Phase 2 is mostly residential, such as Ercildoune Heights.
The North Sebastian Septic to Sewer (S2S) Phase II Conversion Project is currently under design and planning.
Summer Place and Ocean Aire Subdivisions S2S
The Indian River County Board of County Commissioners has decided that the
health of the Lagoon should be one of the county's top priorities, and it has
recognized that the Summerplace community of approximately 269 homes is one of
several areas in the county that significantly contributes to the continued
degradation of the health of the lagoon because of its close proximity to the lagoon
and its reliance on private septic systems for domestic waste disposal.
Documents and Maps