"It is declared to be the public policy of this
state to conserve the waters of the state and to protect, maintain,
and improve the quality thereof for public water supplies, for the
propagation of wildlife and fish and other aquatic life, and for
domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational, and other
beneficial uses and to provide that no waste be discharged into any
waters of the state without first being given the degree of
treatment necessary to protect the beneficial uses of such water."
--Florida Statute 403.021(2)
With more than 7,700 lakes, 4,500 square miles of estuaries and
bays, more than 50,000 miles of rivers and streams and countless
wetlands throughout the state, protecting water quality through
proper wastewater management is vital to maintaining our quality of
life. Billions of gallons of wastewater are produced in Florida
every day, the improper disposal of which could impact public health
and the environment.
Wastewater in Florida
are over 3,700 individually permitted domestic, not including septic
systems, and industrial wastewater facilities in Florida. Less than a
quarter of these facilities are authorized to discharge to surface
water. As surface water dischargers, they are subject to the
Departmentís federally authorized
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
requirements. However, many of these NPDES facilities also discharge to
ground waters. The remaining facilities are authorized solely as
groundwater discharges through land-application,
beneficial reuse of reclaimed water or
deep well injection.
little less than three-quarters of the individually permitted wastewater
facilities in Florida are classified as
domestic (municipal) wastewater
facilities. In general, domestic wastewater facilities are those
principally designed to collect and treat sanitary wastewater or sewage
from dwellings or homes, business buildings, institutions, and the like.
The remaining one-quarter individually permitted facilities are
The Department's Wastewater Management Programs,located in Tallahassee,
are responsible for the overall policy, including permitting, compliance
and enforcement, on the Department's wastewater programs, both domestic
and industrial wastewater, and coordination of the federally authorized
NPDES program. The office is also in charge of developing the rules and
guidance for implementing these programs consistently throughout Florida
and providing technical assistance to district office programs.
For More Information
Please browse our wastewater topics listed on the right hand side for
more information. If you still have any questions about wastewater
management in Florida you may contact the appropriate
Wastewater Management Program.
Water: Reusing a Precious Resource
Florida reuses over 670 million gallons of reclaimed water each day to
conserve freshwater supplies and replenish rivers, streams, lakes and
the aquifers. Expanding water reuse programs is a key component of DEP's
future plans to conserve water resources...
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