Residents grateful to see progress in Jacksonville’s septic tank phaseout program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Mayor Donna Degan is trying to make good on a promise she made to River City residents during consolidation in the late 1960s. Funding for the septic phase-out program is part of the city’s newly released final report on the transition.

The News4JAX I-TEAM has been following the septic tank project for years, keeping up with residents as they wait for the city to fulfill its promise to connect their homes to the city’s water and sewer system.

And finally there is progress.

Mains have already been moved underground in the Beverly Hills East area and residents say completion of the project will improve their quality of life. They expect the connection to be made sometime next year.

Work is currently underway on Jacksonville’s septic phase-out project (WJXT)

Brian Caldwell of Beverly Hills described what residents will no longer have to deal with after the exit program is completed.

“You don’t have to worry about people whose tanks are broken. When the water settles, it floats in your yard and other people’s yards,” Caldwell said. “The tanks are old and made of concrete. Therefore, when it rains, you can sometimes smell the smell of the sewage as it comes out of them – so it can be washed into your garden as you walk through it. It’s pretty bad.”

READ: 2023 Transition Committee Report

In Deegan’s final transition report, the administration commits to phasing out more than 4,000 eligible properties in the following communities:

  • The Biltmore district is complete.

  • Beverly Hills West is essentially complete.

  • Beverly Hills East’s main lines will be installed with home service starting in spring 2024.

  • In the Christobel district, 10% of the design has been completed, with construction expected to begin in summer 2025.

  • Riverview Community customer support begins in 2024.

JEA officials said the JEA has allocated $49.5 million through fiscal year 2024 and the city of Jacksonville has contributed more than $118 million to the work.

Work is currently underway on Jacksonville’s septic phase-out project (WJXT)

Residents told the I-TEAM they are eager to eliminate their septic tanks, which will ultimately improve the health of Jacksonville’s citizens and the city’s rivers.

“Now it’s happening, and a lot of people are grateful for it,” Caldwell said. “They’ve been waiting for this to happen since they were kids.”

It is important to note that the project in the Riverview community, which includes more than 2,400 eligible homes, requires at least 70% neighborhood approval before work can begin. City officials said additional funding for the project has been identified but not yet fully budgeted.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.

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