Documents

Crystal River / Kings Bay

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) developed a technical report that identifies the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nutrients that are allowed to be measured in the Crystal River/Kings Bay springs. This document describes the water quality problem, sets the target level for nutrients, assesses the sources of contaminants, justifies the limit set by the FDEP, and discusses the next steps that should be taken to address the issues.

Upon completion of the TMDL the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) developed the Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) that documents actions that should be taken to achieve the TMDL with the Crystal River/Kings Bay springshed. The BMAP provides background on the situation, discuss specific actions that should be taken to meet the TMDL, and presents monitoring and reporting requirements.

The Final Order is a legal document signed by the Secretary of the FDEP that adopts and authorizes into law the Crystal River/Kings Bay BMAP.

Chassahowitzka-Homosassa

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) developed a technical report that identifies the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nutrients that are allowed to be measured in the Chassahowitzka-Homosassa springs. This document describes the water quality problem, sets the target level for nutrients, assesses the sources of contaminants,  justifies the limit set by the FDEP, and discusses the next steps that should be taken to address the issues.

Upon completion of the TMDL the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) developed the Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) that documents actions that should be taken to achieve the TMDL with the Chassahowitzka-Homosassa springshed. The BMAP provides background on the situation, discuss specific actions that should be taken to meet the TMDL, and presents monitoring and reporting requirements.

The Final Order is a legal document signed by the Secretary of the FDEP that adopts and authorizes into law the Chassahowitzka-Homosassa BMAP.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

This link provides access to an interactive map that will allow the user to quickly and visually search for information on any TMDL within the State.

This link provides access to an interactive map that will allow the user to quickly and visually search for information on any BMAP within the State.

This link provides access to a list, in table format, of all of the BMAPs within the State. This site also provides additional links to the BMAP, FDEP staff responsible for each BMAP, and interactive story maps that help to explain the issues with the State’s springs.

This link provides access to an interactive map that will allow the user to quickly and visually search for information on any Priority Focus Area (PFA) within the State

Frequently Asked Questions

The Citrus County Wastewater Treatment Feasibility Analysis is a study that is being conducted by Citrus County to identify cost-effective options to improve water quality throughout the county – specifically in our fresh water sources. It is being conducted according to the requirements of the Crystal River/Kings Bay and Chassahowitzka-Homosassa Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs).

The analysis will:

  • Review, evaluate and update the septic system inventory and identify those that need remediation
  • Identify wastewater infrastructure needs
  • Determine environmental and economic benefits of proposed projects
  • Determine areas to be served by enhanced septic systems that provide nitrogen treatment
  • Determine areas to be served by public sewer
  • Identify costs of alternative approaches
  • Identify options for financial assistance to property owners who may be impacted by the program

The BMAP is the “blueprint” for restoring impaired waters by reducing pollutant loads to meet the established Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). The BMAPs include permit limits for wastewater facilities, urban and agricultural best management practices, conservation programs, financial assistance and revenue generating activities, and are designed specifically to meet the TMDLs.

The TMDL is the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive per day and still meet the water quality standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The study areas include the Chassahowitzka, Homosassa, and Kings Bay Springs Groups and they are divided into two Primary Focus Areas: Crystal River/Kings Bay and Chassahowitzka-Homosassa. The two Primary Focus Areas have been classified as impaired springs.

Waters in both the Crystal River/Kings Bay and Chassahowitzka-Homosassa areas are impaired due to increased levels of nutrients such as nitrogen. It has been determined that the nitrogen from septic system is a significant source of pollution in each area.

The feasibility analysis is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

The County will evaluate and rank the projects recommended in the feasibility study. Citrus County will also begin to identify financial grant opportunities for funding and include the projects in the County’s Capital Improvements Plan.

The purpose of the feasibility analysis is to develop alternatives that will help reduce nitrogen loads within the Chassahowitzka, Homosassa, and Crystal River/Kings Bay spring areas, in order to help restore and protect the springs’ ecosystems.

The goal of the feasibility analysis is to identify opportunities within Citrus County’s wastewater service area to improve the water quality of the springs within the Crystal River/Kings Bay and Chassahowitzka areas, as well as to protect groundwater sources. This includes upgrading existing septic systems or providing sewer services where it is reasonable to do so.

The overall objective of the project is to determine the best options for improving water quality for each area within Citrus County. It will include:

  • Development of a plan to accommodate additional sewerage for properties that need to be connected and
  • Development of an implementation plan to reduce nitrogen discharge from septic systems by upgrading those systems or connecting to sewer.

If you would like to learn more about this project, more information is available on the project website at citruscountywastewatertfa.com.

In 2019, the Florida Department of Environment Protection (FDEP) appropriated funds to conduct feasibility studies in counties that have first magnitude springs (flows of greater than 100 cubic feet per second). These studies will determine the environmental impacts on first magnitude springs due to excessive nutrients and declining water levels in the groundwater aquifer that sustains them. Florida is committed to investing in capital projects that reduce nitrogen, which leads to algal growth and habitat degradation, and develop quality projects and conservation programs that will protect and restore the springs and prevent future contamination.  Citrus County has three (3) first magnitude springs groups that have been identified as being impaired: the Chassahowitzka, Homosassa, and Crystal River/Kings Bay groups.

Florida’s springs, including those in Citrus County, offer many recreational opportunities such a kayaking, boating, scuba diving and swimming, and attract visitors from all over the world. As a major economic driver for our community, the annual economic impact of tourism in Citrus County in 2018 was $217 million, and 14 percent of the county’s workforce was employed in tourism-related jobs. Continuing to improve the spring’s water quality will increase tourism revenue centered around the springs and improve scalloping and fishing for recreational and commercial fisherman. In addition, improving the availability of sewer services will help prevent further reductions in water quality due to expected residential and commercial growth.

Improving the water quality will help restore the springs to their natural clarity and vegetation, which will better support entire ecosystems of unique plant and animal life. In addition, the health of the springs impacts the health of our groundwater. The recommendations made in the feasibility analysis will compliment other initiatives such as the Save Crystal River’s aggressive program to remove invasive vegetation around the springs.

Property owners within priority focus areas currently using conventional septic systems may be required to transition to sewer services or upgrade their septic systems to provide more advanced treatment.

Yes, there will be financial impacts to property owners if the feasibility study determines they are in an area that will require upgrading their septic systems or transitioning to sewer service. While most of the cost will be covered by various funding sources including Citrus County and the State of Florida, transitioning from septic to sewer is costly. It is likely that some portion of the cost will be the responsibility of the property owners. The feasibility study will also identify possible grant opportunities that may provide financial assistance to property owners.

The feasibility study will cost $500,000 and is being funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Until the feasibility study is complete, the County will not know specifically which neighborhoods and communities will be impacted or the estimated time of construction for each project. The feasibility study will guide the County in prioritizing the projects which will be included in the County’s 5-, 10- and 15-year plans. In addition, the County has three (3) other septic-to-sewer projects that are already in the design phase.

Yes, if sewer collection services are made available in your area. The County has an ordinance that requires connecting to sewer services one year from the time the service is made available. Once the collection system is operational, the County will notify all impacted residences of connection deadline dates.  

The feasibility study will identify grant opportunities that will be available to property owners. The County will ensure that any impacted property owner is made aware of those opportunities.  Information on how to apply will be provided prior to the mandatory connection ordinance deadlines.