The Keys’ Dirty Little Secret

by Naja and Arnaud Girard              August 8, 2014

According to some irritated homeowners, two lower Florida Keys sewage treatment plant operators are playing dirty tricks in their permit applications to inject over a million gallons a day of sewage into shallow injection wells on Cudjoe Key and Stock Island.

They claim that FKAA is using unrealistic old data projections from 2008, advertised it’s legal notices to Monroe County residents in Lee and Broward Counties and would have you believe that “we drink water worse than we‘re producing with Advanced Wastewater Treatment. [Actual quote from County Commissioner David Rice.]

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Cudjoe Shallow Wells Need Deeper Look

by JD Adler…                                   March 20, 2015

Environmental attorneys Caron Balkany and Christopher Byrd have issued a 60 day notice of intent to sue the government on behalf of local fisherman Mike Laudicina, due to failure to acquire proper review for the shallow well injection of municipal sewage in the Cudjoe Key area. They have issued a press release stating that Monroe County and the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) have utilized a “fake” environmental assessment report to support their contention that this method is safe.

Their concerns spring from evidence that shallow well systems are unable to contain harmful wastewater effluent which could result in damage to the surrounding endangered species, fisheries, and wetlands. They believe that a deep injection well is a safer alternative and is required by state statutes. (For a technical explanation of the difference between the two read this brief created by the City of Key West to educate the public on their decision to install a deep well.)


FKAA Reverses Position on Deep Injection Well

by JD Adler…                                  March 27, 2015

In a press release dated March 25th, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) announced their decision to request funding from the Monroe County Commission to build a deep injection well at the Cudjoe regional wastewater treatment plant. Their decision was based on a preliminary report from Dr. Briceno of Florida International University who was conducting tests on the shallow wells for FKAA. According to the report, “a connection between injection depth and surface waters may exist at the injection site” (more detail below). When given these results, the FKAA board decided to exercise “an abundance of caution,” halt the test early and pursue the deep injection system. However, according to FKAA Executive Director Kirk Zuelch, initially, they will be moving forward with processing wastewater in the shallow well system, as it will take a year or two to build a deep injection well.