Florida Homeowners- Real Estate Agents- Call Governor Crist Today!

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If you are a homeowner living in Central Florida or a Real Estate agent working in Florida please call Governor Crist's office now to tell him that the Department of Health is making it nearly impossible for those who own  homes with septic tanks to be able to sell those homes.

FAR and our local board is also opposed to the new legislation that the Department of Health has proposed.

To avoid any possible nitrogen seepage from Septic tanks the DOH would require that the seller of the property replace their septic tanks at the sale of their home. Well, who is going to pay for this if the home is a short sale? The lender is highly unlikely to pay for this and the seller will not have the money to pay for this.

While this provision is set to apply for Central Florida we all need to call and say stop to this because once they get one area to do this, they will spread this throughout the rest of Florida.

We are not talking about a few dollars. A new system could cost ten thousand dollars or more to install. The DOH would require the testing to be done and permits pulled prior to a closing. This is really adding an undue burden on sellers.

Florida is paying for studies to be done on the nitrogen issues but there is not even any solid evidence yet about any of this. We believe that this is being done prematurally and that we need to have some studies and options looked at before these kinds of burdens are placed on homeowners.



The proposed language the DOH is considering …

The following standards shall apply in the Wekiva Study Area as defined in 369.316, F.S.
(a) In areas not scheduled, by an adopted local wastewater facility plan, to be served by a central sewer system by July 1, 2012, performance based treatment systems with a total nitrogen discharge limit of 10 milligrams per liter at the outlet of the treatment receptacle shall be required for new systems, modifications, and repairs.  No increase in the authorized sewage flow allowances of 381.0065(4)(a), (b), and (g) shall allowed for use of these systems.
(b) In areas not scheduled, by an adopted local wastewater facility plan, to be served by a central sewer system by July 1, 2012, prior to completion of any real estate transaction for property with an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system that does not meet the above referenced standard, the seller must apply for and receive a construction permit to upgrade the system to a performance based treatment system with a total nitrogen discharge limit of 10 milligrams per liter at the outlet of the treatment receptacle.  The system must be installed and receive final approval from the department within 18 months of the issue date of the permit.
(c) Land application of septage shall not be allowed.

Call Governor Crist today. You may reprint this article and pass it around. You may post it on your website or your blog. Please help spread the word. Thanks.



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Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

WOW....that would really put a tail-spin on an already challenging market!

We've gone through a similar thing here in Atlanta (Dekalb County) as a result of the drought last year. Now all homes built before 1993 have to be retro-fitted with low-flow water fixtures prior to the sale of the home. That means all toilets, showerheads and water faucets! If you have a big home, that's a few bucks, but certainly not the cost of a septic system.

Hope you rally the troups to fight that one!

Feb 22, 2009 03:38 PM #1
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Katerina - hmmm, sounds pretty restrictive to me. Would think they would perhaps require inspections as a minimum, and only require replacement or repairs if the spetic system does not meet the standards, as is true in other states. Yep, the issues with the bank sales will be significant. THIS will be interesting to watch to see what support it gets.


Feb 22, 2009 03:39 PM #2
Todd Kevitch
InterContinental Capital Group - Boca Raton, FL
Mortgage Loan Officer - I get deals done!

The legislation says that the septic has to meet the standards set.  Are you saying that no existing septic tanks would pass those standards?

Todd Kevitch
BPO Realty LLC
Lake Worth Foreclosures 

Feb 22, 2009 03:41 PM #3
Teresa Harris
Lake Real Estate, LLC - Denver, NC
Denver . Lake Norman . Charlotte

Hi Katerina, This does sound pretty bad. Hopefully, where I live they won't start something like this. It's $10,000 just to tap on in my area. Hope you get this stopped.

Feb 22, 2009 03:43 PM #4
Julie Dumaine-Russell
RE/MAX Alliance - Branford, CT

Katerina - With Florida having so many foreclosed and short sales homes along with the normal resales, it just doesn't make sense to any add additional roadblocks to getting them sold.  I do hope that the state of Florida will either rethink this policy or receives a huge response from homeowners and the real estate community to put an end to it.

Feb 22, 2009 04:56 PM #5
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK

That will be a challenge to say the least... a lot of folks just don't have that money and it would be easier to get blood out of a turnip than to get the typical bank to pay for it.  Hopefully you can get Charlie to pay attention to reason.

Feb 22, 2009 08:00 PM #6
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


Show us your papers! They're here from the government and they are here to help! Most people won't know about the problem (requiring replacement) but they believe that nitrogen is a problem and that they are being protected.

With some small properties also having wells this may be imposable regardless of cost.

Good Luck


Feb 22, 2009 10:04 PM #7
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones


Wow! Don't you love all the new red tape they have time to come up with to hinder the sale of homes! Doen't make sense. Get an inspection and if it is operating fine that is all that counts!

Feb 22, 2009 10:14 PM #8
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Good Grief.  This just shows how out of touch with the real world the politicians are.  Seems to me that a simple requirement for testing would suffice.  For that, the buyer could pay. 

The political atmosphere is so charged these days that county and state and national elected and appointed officials seemd to want to "do something, even if it's wrong".


Feb 22, 2009 10:51 PM #9
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes


I really dislike hearing about things like this in other states because it can have an adverse effect on other states.  Talk about placing a wet blanket on the resale market, for that matter new home construction would have a problem too.

Feb 23, 2009 12:02 AM #10
Terry Miller
Miller Homes Group - Tyler, TX
Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator

Bad deal. The government needs to stay out of things like this.

Feb 23, 2009 06:46 AM #11
Monique Richison

I live in the Wekiva Study Area (WSA) and have been following this assinine issue for five years. I've attended as many meetings as I can to keep myself informed on this issue and have, likewise, tried to keep my neighbors up to date.

Would I be correct in assuming that a seller disclosure would HAVE to reveal that their home is located in the WSA? This area covers parts of Lake, Seminole and Orange County. Their are 55,000+ homes in the WSA on septic. These are 55,000 homes that are being blacklisted by the state without ANY evidence of the nitrogen concentration the state says is in the Wekiva River/Spring. Trust me, I've seen ALL the data.

My home is located just 3 BLOCKS in the WSA boundary. If this becomes law, then that means my home cannot compete with a home just three blocks away in terms of price, considering this upgrade would be mandatory before a sale. In fact, a friend of mine down by Lake Gertrude would have to upgrade her system, while a home right across the street would not because the WSA boundary cuts right down the middle of the street. Folks, this is already law in Wakulla County and something, I fear, will be implemented statewide if it is not stopped right now.

There are, sorry to say, mobile homes a couple of miles away that would NEVER be able to sell, as, let's face it, this $15,000+ septic system would in some cases be about equal to the value of the mobile home. NO bank is going to lend anyone money for this, whether in good or bad economic times.

I thank you for bringing this to homeowner's attention and hope you keep it on the forefront of discussions. I've written to the Governor, Lt. Governor, Department of Health, my state senator among others. My most recent letter is posted on www.ocins.com the Orange County information website. It is chocked full of FACTS that everyone needs to be made aware of, especially those citizens in the WSA. Thank you for your time.

Feb 23, 2009 07:11 AM #12
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Thank you everyone for your comments and support. I am going to be reprinting this awesome homeowner's comment listed here from Monique. She has some great insight and is directly affected by this. Please read her comment and call the governor's office and support homeowners like her.

Feb 23, 2009 08:08 AM #13
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Katerina - That is onerous!  How common is nitrogen seepage?

Feb 23, 2009 01:20 PM #14
Gene Wunderlich
1st Action Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Realtor & Legislative Liaison

I posted a link to an article I did a couple weeks ago in our local paper in response to your reblog. We're facing a similar thing here in Cali. The Water Board has been 'studying' the problem for 9 years and is ready to publish their report - which is filled with very onerous regulations that could put the cost of installing some new systemns as high as $35,000 and retrofittiung existing systems up to $45,000 (no, that's not a typo). It would apply to thousands of homes out here, would require testing and certification every 5 years $700 a pop) and point of sale retrofits. Pretty crappy. Our state comment period ended today and we've been working like dogs to get this either thrown out or revisited. Good luck.

Feb 23, 2009 03:09 PM #15
Cindy Oglesby
Southeast Realty Group - Macclenny, FL

Wow..there sure is a lot of ruckus over all of this. It seems to me that it is pretty ridiculous to require mandatory replacement of current systems regardless of if there is a problem or not. I think we all agree that we want our rivers and streams to be as free of any pollution or toxins as possible, but if it is not a problem then why are they trying to fix it. I, personally, do not disagree with testing them for their effectiveness in containing toxic waste, and if the Dept of Env Health thinks that every five or ten years is required to make sure that they are still maintaining their effectiveness then that should be done, but to replace something that is functioning properly sounds pretty stupid to me. Actually it sounds like Big Brother at work again. By the way, how much money are us Fl taxpayers paying for this study and regulation? One more department that will require annual funding!

Mar 02, 2009 04:27 AM #16
Robert MacKeil

Hello All,

   You don't have a clue as to the cost. It is not the $10,000 up front that is the biggest problem. These systems can cost $1500 a year for electricity, inspections, maintenance etc.

If the power fails you will have to vacate the house because you can't drain into the system if its pumps are out. It would take $80,000 in your savings account, at current rates (let's say 2%) to generate this cost. In the meantime inflation will destroy your principal.

    The people pushing this are eco-fascists who make communists look like conservatives. 

                                                                    Bob MacKeil

May 14, 2009 03:22 AM #17
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Bob- You are so right in your last statement. Eco Fascits make communists look like conservatives. The whole eco thing is all about pushing one way agendas and making us all pay for it, cramming stuff down our throats that we don't want, can't afford, or don't have means to pay for. They don't care about how many people will lose homes, lose jobs, and how the poor in this country will become even more poor if they get their way!Thanks for the comment.

May 14, 2009 02:26 PM #18
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