Tallahassee citizens awoke recently to learn it was under a FDEP Consent Order since 2009 for a very poor and aging raw sewage system with numerous and high volume spills. Today, numbers have gone down but 2018 saw a very large volume of spills. Further investigation finds we have high infiltration of stormwater into our clay raw sewage aging pipes. Likewise, this translates into exfiltration of raw sewage 24-7-365 into the underlying environment. City of Talkahassee is dragging its feet on responding to calls to action. Check you own cities for similar aging clay pipes and infiltration and exfiltration issues- this is the undiscussed issue of today
A "simple solution" would be to ban the use of phosphate enriched fertilizers in the state of Florida. This addresses everything from the Mosaic Phosphate Mining coverups to the algae blooms.
I came to Florida in 1976 when assigned to CG Air Station Miami. We became residents then and we still are now. Solutions to our water issues are well known. I have flown Scientists and Politicians around for 30 years who discuss, inform and plead for action. To what end? The answer generally is ZIP.
We Know we Must... Allow Lake O to flow more naturally South into the Everglades and Florida Bay. Stop/Reduce water flow towards Stuart and Ft Myers. Stop/Reduce groundwater pollution around the State. Appropriately plan for future population growth. The list could continue, but that is enough for now.
It would have been easier and Much more cost effect to have begun years ago, But we were lazy and breathtakingly short sighted.
Hopefully it is not too late.
The bottom line is that we have a government at all levels in Florida that sides with developers over any kind of environmental protections. For every acre of pristine habitat we bulldoze, we create a corollary negative affect on the environment. It is death by a thousand cuts! Until these developers and their enablers in the legislature (Republican I might add) start feeling some economic pain via lost revenues because people do not want to come here anymore then it is unrealistic to think anything will happen.
I've been in Florida one year now. This is my observation of why we have Red Tide in Florida.
Sugar Cane plantations fertilize their fields then pump their waste water back into Lake Okeechobee.
When Lake O levels get high, the Army Corp of Engineers releases nutrient rich waters to the east or west coasts. This is feeding the Red Tide and Green Algae blooms.
Solution, make industry pay for water treatment instead of tax payers. Also those agriculture plantations are blocking the natural water flow from Lake O to the Everglades.
It is true that there are other reasons contributing to the Red Tide and Green Algae blooms which occur naturally. But first deal with the untreated agriculture waste water and problem solved!