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Wastewater Program


"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)

Blue SpringsWith 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

There 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

A 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 classified as industrial wastewater facilities. 

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 reuse signReclaiming 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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Last updated: November 07, 2016

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