But that possibility doesn’t mean those concerns aren’t valid or don’t need to be addressed.
In fact, the law requires those concerns to be addressed.
It is entirely possible that the anticipated volume of treated sludge — somewhere between 5,000 and 200,000 gallons per day, depending on how you read the project’s application— won’t seep downhill and into Bone Creek. It’s possible that even if there is seepage, the treated materials will pose no danger to the surrounding environment.
We admit, the possibilities for a safe, profitable, convenient service that, frankly, residential customers on the north side of Okaloosa County could really use, are worth considering.
But, those are just possibilities – claims, really, that the County Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have yet to corroborate.
It is unrealistic, however, to expect any Bone Creek area residents to be happy with the idea of this facility literally in their backyards.
We understand their concerns.
Will being located near such a facility drive down property values?
Will such a facility attract an influx of bugs and birds?
Will such a facility create an odor that neighbors can’t escape?
How will burying treated septic sludge affect well water downhill and downstream?
Will the facility see five trucks a day, or 25? (And will the county ask taxpayers to cover the cost of the road improvements needed to support that traffic?)
At last Tuesday’s County Commissioners meeting, concerned Holt residents asked these questions — and a host of others — prompting commissioners to add this issue to the meeting’s agenda and take immediate action.
The problem Mr. Watts’ project aims to address is a valid one. Most septic systems in Okaloosa County are on the north side. The county’s only collection facility is inconveniently located on the south side. As fuel prices continue to surge, it’s easy to see why a north side solution — even the Flush Factory — is worth considering.
Our hope is that the County and the City of Crestview can come to an agreement on expanding the city’s current wastewater treatment facility to include a septic receiving station.
Giving northside septic trucks a place to safely unload without the added time and expense of traveling to Niceville with every tankful – and without disrupting the lives of an entire neighborhood – is just the kind of solution this situation calls for.
While that may not be the most profitable for Watts, it would resolve the issue — and probably save area septic customers a lot of money in the long run.