APPLICABLE RULES AND LAW
A DEEP WELL IS REQUIRED BECAUSE OF THE DESIGN CAPACITY OF THE PLANT
Florida law requires deep well injection if the design capacity of the treatment plant is for 1 million gallons per day or more. (Section 403.086 (10) (e) (2), Florida Statutes). Design capacity, by FDEP rule, is based on the volume of wastewater flow to the treatment Plant. FKAA’s own documents show that the flow of wastewater to the Plant will be more than 1million gallons per day. Therefore, the Plant should never have been permitted for shallow well injection.
FKAA’s own documents state that the flow to the Plant will be in excess of 1mgd. A deep well is thus required by Florida law.
FKAA and FDEP cite cost saving efforts as the reason for using shallow wells. However, Monroe County Commissioners acknowledge that the money is available for the deep well. And FDEP itself has acknowledged that shallow wells often do not work in the Florida Keys.
SHALLOW WELLS VIOLATE WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
Even if the flow is less than 1 million gallons per day, the addition of TN and TP at the levels permitted by FDEP will contribute to violations of water quality standards when it reaches our surface waters; therefore, under Florida law, shallow wells -which allow the effluent to reach surface waters -should not be permitted.
The effluent will violate Surface Water Quality Criteria set forth in 62-302.530 F.A.C., including the narrative criteria for nutrients.
62-302.530 (47) (b) “Nutrients. In no case shall nutrient concentrations of a body of water be altered so as to cause an imbalance in natural populations of aquatic flora or fauna.”
Florida Statute Section 403.086 (10) (e) (2) governing sewage effluent injection for Class V wells such as these states:
(2) Except as provided in subparagraph 3. for backup wells, if the design capacity of the facility is equal to or greater than 1 million gallons per day, each primary injection well must be cased to a minimum depth of 2,000 feet or to such greater depth as may be required by department rule.
FDEP defines design capacity as follows in 62-600.200 (19)F.A.C.: “Design capacity” means the average daily flow projected for the design year which serves as the basis for the sizing and design of the wastewater facilities.
The design capacity is established by the permit applicant. The time frame associated with the design capacity (e.g., annual average daily flow, maximum monthly average daily flow, three-month average daily flow) shall be specified by the permit applicant.
The Florida Legislature requires that FDEP prevent any discharge which will cause or contribute to violations of state water quality standards. Section 403.086 (10) (h), Florida Statutes, provides: “If it is demonstrated that a discharge, even if the discharge is otherwise in compliance with this subsection, will cause or contribute to a violation of state water quality standards, the department shall: 2. Order the pointor method of discharge changed….”