JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- City leaders said fertilizers are not the only culprits behind the latest algae outbreak in the St. Johns River -- defective septic tanks are also to blame.Councilman Don Redman, who also heads the Water Ways Commission, said it's a major pollution issue that needs to be addressed but it'll end up costing taxpayers millions.
"Jacksonville has a lot of failing septic tanks," said Redman.
For the past few years, there's been a push to phase out the old septic tanks and connect homes to the city's sewage system.
The city's efforts were once funded in part by the federal government but that cash stopped coming in.
Redman said there is not only not enough money but there is also not enough support.
"The river is one of the main assets of downtown, so until we get the river cleaned up -- I mean, we talk about cleaning up Hemming Park, sure that's important, but the river should be just as important," said Redman.
Councilman Jim Love, who represents the Ortega area, an area with one of the worst algal blooms, tells Action News there are at least 60,000 septic tanks in Jacksonville.
The Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Public Works are working together to begin tagging the faulty septic tanks. There's no word on when the replacement project will begin.
The Water Ways Commission will meet again this Wednesday at the City Council chambers.