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Push to fund septic-to-sewer project near Wekiwa Springs

WEKIWA SPRINGS – The State of Florida could be digging up thousands of septic tanks near a Central Florida treasure, hoping to clean things up and keep Wekiwa Springs crystal clear.

The state budget is coming down from the governor in a little more than a week. One Orange County commissioner and thousands of others are pushing for funding that will take care of something near and dear to them: Wekiwa Springs.

Those who live around the springs want to keep them popular and cleaner than ever. The springs have been contaminated with nitrogen over the years.

“The DEP [Department of Environmental Protection]found that about 30% of the nitrogen entering the springs is coming from septic tanks,” said Mike Cliburn, secretary for Friends of Wekiva.

Now Cliburn, Friends of Wekiva, and Orange County are pushing for a 12-year, $123 million project to clean it up. That money would pay to convert septic tanks to sewers in roughly 2,000 homes and businesses near the springs. The project was initially met with some resistance.