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JEA and city of Jacksonville aiming to address decades long public health issue

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Providing central water and sewage for residents has been a decades long issue in Jacksonville.

According to JEA, the high number of homes using septic tanks was first identified as a problem back in the 1960s.

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“We missed out so many times. They promised us this time about putting in water. You can see I’ve got water now. But it don’t have sewage. So we still got septic tanks,” complained Riverview resident Rudolph Murray.

Now, Riverview is the latest community JEA and the city are targeting to phase out the use of septic tanks in, transitioning residents to city sewage at no installation cost to them, thanks to over $50 million of funding from JEA and $100 million from the city.

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“The bill will probably go up, yeah, maybe $50 a month extra. But that’s better than the maintenance and upkeep,” Riverview resident Nikki Stone told Action News Jax on Friday. “The septic tanks are old, we have to get them pumped out every few months, which is about a good upwards of $500.”

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With residents Action News Jax talked to excited about the coming improvements, JEA told Action News Jax the transition would serve to help keep Jacksonville’s groundwater and riverways free of pollutants.

The effort will require 70% public approval to pass, with votes cast by neighborhood residents and final decision set to be made six months from Thursday’s community meeting.

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