For Immediate Release: DEP Fines Winter Springs for Wastewater System Failures

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a consent order which included fines stemming from an investigation into a massive fish-kill incident affecting several Winter Springs neighborhoods early last year. The initial fine levied on December 13 was $150,000 with allowances to take certain actions to lessen the fine.

The DEP had issued an initial report outlining several failures last March. The initial report identified up to 24 possible violations including filtration systems being bypassed, monitoring failures, unreported events and testing and transcription failures. In the executed consent order, the city acknowledged the failures.

Jesse Phillips, Winter Springs Community Association President and Founder of the Winter Springs Water Quality Initiative, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the State for stepping in to protect the residents and environment of Winter Springs. The staggering failures of our City Manager, commission and water contractor Veolia are even more inexcusable given the longstanding concerns and red flags raised by residents and members of our Association. This investigation and fine is an unfortunate result of the systemic leadership void plaguing our city. Nonetheless, we hope the State’s corrective action and the acknowledgement of failures is the first step toward uniting behind our long-standing goal of improving the quality of the water in Winter Springs. We applaud the tireless advocacy of the members of the Winter Springs Community Association and our Water Quality Initiative which made this admission possible.”

Attachments:

DEP Consent Order (December 2021)

Initial DEP Investigation Report (March 2021)

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