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Tallahassee | Killearn Sewer System Retrofit

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Killearn Sewer System Retrofit:

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Project History

In the middle to late 1970's, Killearn Lakes Units I & II were constructed with homes in those subdivisions. Almost immediately problems were realized with the proper function and operation of the septic tanks serving the homes in Unit I. This problem increased in severity and in March 1987, the board declared a temporary moratorium on the construction of homes in Unit I using septic tanks and directed a study (The Killearn Lakes Wastewater Disposal Study) to analyze the problem and to identify solutions. In July 1987 the board determined that an extended moratorium would not be appropriate due to legal issues and directed that future homes built in the area should be evaluated on a case by case basis using criteria developed in the study.

The study required that new home development should not adversely impact existing homes and improvements. For a number of years these criteria severely limited new home construction. However, in recent years, developers found that engineers could provide drainage designs that would route stormwater offsite and away from existing development, theoretically complying with the requirements of the study. Home construction resumed in Units I & II as a result.

Over the years, the residents of Killearn Lakes Units I & II have experienced periods in which their septic systems have worked acceptably (times of drought), and periods in which their septic systems have failed to function (rainy periods). The problems have been reported many times by the local media, and the residents have appealed for assistance.

In August 2003, residents of Killearn Lakes again asked Leon County Commissioners to resolve the septic-tank problems in their neighborhood. As a result, Leon County imposed a moratorium in July 2004 that prohibited new development for a period of two years so that the county could evaluate alternatives and develop a reliable and cost effective solution. The commissioners unanimously approved the development of a plan, using $5 million in tax dollars from the Blueprint 2000 program, to resolve the sewer problem.

In November 2004, engineering consultants researched the sewage problem in the Killearn Lakes community and identified several possible solutions. After extensively studying the gravity, vacuum, and low-pressure sewer systems, it was concluded that all three alternatives were possible; however, a low-pressure sewer system provided the most cost-effective and timely solution with the least amount of disruption to the existing utilities and residents of the community.

Is anyone affected by this project here on UrbanPlanet?

Are the changes / improvements noticable?

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My cousins live on the North part of Killearn Lakes and they did not switch over to the new system yet. But they were told that if they ever have a problem with the septic tank they would have to switch to the new sewer system at a cost of around like $8000 to hook in. I might be wrong on the figure, but it had to do something with them not switching when it became avaliable.

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Now that the sewer system is up and running I am starting to see lots being cleared for new houses in Killearn Lakes. I can't remember the last time I saw that.

We have not chosen to hook up just yet because we just spent a bunch of money replacing the siding on the house and want to pay that off before incurring any more debt. Plus, our septic tank works well.

So far, I have only seen one house that has hooked up to the sewer system. The lift station that was built on Bannerman is very unobtrusive.

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Killearn homeowners say no to sewers

Despite penalties, incentives, few have connected

Efforts to wean Killearn Lakes residents off septic tanks are facing a slow start, despite a mix of incentives and penalties aimed at getting residents to connect to the city's sewer system.

Since last year, the 1,400 existing lots in Killearn Lakes Plantation Units 1 and 2 have been charged an annual "readiness to serve" assessment of $179.43 on tax bills, even if homeowners choose not to connect to the sewer service. As of mid-December, only 97 homes had connected.

Source: TDO.com

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