UPDATE: the resolution passed by a 5-0 vote on July 12, 2021. A summary of the resolution and our reasons for supporting it are below.
At tonight’s Commission meeting, city leaders will be discussing a resolution on our city’s water quality. We encourage all residents to support this resolution. We support this resolution which affirms the essence of our Water Quality Initiative’s assertions related to the mismanagement of the city’s water utility since it was outsourced to Veolia.
While it contains some legalese which may conceal the significance of the city’s admissions and stops short of acknowledging the public health issues with the drinking water which has contained tests which fail EPA standards in 6 of the lat 7 years, and does not acknowledge the dozens of failures of DEP standards in the wastewater system, we nevertheless support the resolution which affirms several key assertions we have made through our Water Quality Initiative:
ADMISSION 1: Water Permit Violations: as our association has highlighted, the City is in violation of our Consumptive Use Permit (CUP). Because of housing developments our current commissioners have allowed to continue through the passage of several special exemptions, our city has been drawing more water from the aquifer than we are allowed to draw. Although our Association was initially criticized for highlighting this, the city is formally acknowledging this violation in this resolution.
ADMISSION 2: Reclamation Plan Failures: as highlighted in our recent videos, the previous Mayor and commission approved a water plant which was paid for by taxpayers to supplement our reclaimed water needs with the goal of providing reclaimed water to the entire city and eliminate the use of potable water for irrigation. The resolution acknowledges city leadership did not follow through on these prior plans, which exacerbated our recent water shortages.
ADMISSION 3: SJRWMD Water Initiative: several months ago, our association made public records requests which revealed under the management of Veolia, the city did not comply with requirements of the St. John’s River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and state law to develop plans for alternate water sources in order to protect the draw on the aquifer. This resolution acknowledges the city and Veolia’s failure to comply with the requirements of the SJWMD Central Florida Water Initiative.
Because of these three admissions of our Water Quality Initiative’s claims, we encourage all our members and residents to support the resolution and to reach out to your commissioners and encourage them to pass this resolution at their Monday, June 12th meeting.