City proposes plan for St. Johns River cleanup

4:38 AM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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Photo courtesy of Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Cleanup will soon begin on the St. Johns River thanks to a plan proposed by the city. It comes two years after it was supposed to be released.

Earlier this month tests showed toxins were below the harmful level for recreational exposure but about the threshold for drinking water.

According to the Florida Times Union, it's still unclear how the city will fund the work.  There are construction projects that will cost at least $300 million dollars.

Public Works Director Jim Robinson wrote a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in September. He said the city is committed to making improvements to the health of the St. Johns river and its tributaries and will meet state-imposed water pollution reduction goals for 2015 and 2023.

A few years ago, Jacksonville joined Clay, St. Johns, and Putnam counties and other businesses in making a commitment to prevent pollution in the river.

There are several parts to the plan. The first is to phase out 757 septic tanks by 2015. Septic system failures could cause nitrogen to run into the creeks or rivers, which can cause the green algae.  But 2023, the septic systems off San Jose Boulevard and Riverview near the Trout River will be removed.

There's also a plan to improve stormwater retention. By 2015, there are 12 drainage projects to work on including McCoy Creek. Five years after that, projects at Pottsburg Creek, Hogan Creek, and Bay Street will be finished.

First Coast News

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