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Potable Water Update: Midway Water System - Gulf Breeze

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is committed to the protection of public health and safety of Florida’s residents and visitors, and the environment. DEP takes all drinking water violations very seriously.

On Oct. 18, 2021, DEP was notified by Midway Water System in Santa Rosa County that a private contractor plumbed a cross-connection from a residential sewage line to a municipal potable water line. The cross-connection was eliminated upon discovery by the city on Oct. 18, 2021, and a Boil Water Notice was subsequently issued by the utility to residences and businesses in the impacted area. DEP promptly mobilized a bottled water distribution site, which remained operational until testing results confirmed the water was safe to drink.

DEP and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) reviewed sampling data collected by the Midway Water System and the City of Gulf Breeze from various locations throughout the distribution system and all bacteriological samples collected from the distribution system preceding the discovery were absent of Total Coliform and E. coli. Results from those sampling events are available here.

On Oct. 22, 2021, DEP, in coordination with the Midway Water System, initiated residential tap sampling of all impacted residences and businesses for bacteriological parameters. 

Residents have been contacted with their results via email and U.S. mail where appropriate. (Note: Multiple samples were collected from a single residence/business as needed.) Results from those sampling events are available  here.  

Then, on Nov. 12, 2021, the Boil Water Notice previously issued by Midway Water System for the area between 4115 Soundside Dr. and 5012 Soundside Dr., including Natures Cove and The Waters subdivisions and adjacent streets, was rescinded due to the water system being in compliance with Boil Water Notice standards. 

DEP initiated an investigation and following a comprehensive regulatory review, DEP issued draft Consent Orders to Brown Construction Company, the City of Gulf Breeze and Midway Water System proposing they pay more than $3.2 million in penalties. Each of the three parties had 10 days to review and respond to the draft Orders. (Note: The City of Gulf Breeze, Midway Water System and Brown Construction Company requested, and were granted, additional time to review and respond.) To be fully executed, the Orders must be agreed to and signed by the responsible parties and the department. 

In lieu of penalties, Midway Water System and the City of Gulf Breeze may elect to conduct an in-kind environmental project over and above the requirements of the consent order, valued at 1.5 times the civil penalty amount. An in-kind project must be approved by the department and can be an environmental enhancement, environmental restoration or a capital/facility improvement project. The department may also consider the donation of environmentally sensitive land as an in-kind project.

DEP issued Brown Construction Company a draft Consent Order on Jan. 7, 2022, to resolve the following violations with proposed associated penalty amounts:

  • Violation: 62-620.300(1) F.A.C. – “No person shall discharge wastes to waters without a permit from the department.”
    • Proposed penalty: $5,000 a day x 200 days = $1,000,000.
  • Violation: 62-555.360, F.A.C. – “Cross-connections, as defined in Rule 62-550.200 F.A.C. are prohibited unless appropriate backflow protection is provided.”
    • Proposed penalty: $5,000 a day x 200 days = $1,000,000.
  • Violation: Additional costs to the state for bottled water and security at the water distribution site. 
    • Proposed penalty: $40,846.94.

Total proposed penalties assessed: $2,040,846.94.

On Jan. 24, 2022, DEP received Brown Construction Company’s response to the draft Consent Order and is currently reviewing their response.

DEP issued South Santa Rosa Utility System WWTF – City of Gulf Breeze a draft Consent Order on Jan. 7, 2022, to resolve the following violations with proposed associated penalty amounts:

  • Violation: 62-555.360, F.A.C. – “Cross-connections, as defined in Rule 62-550.200 F.A.C. are prohibited unless appropriate backflow protection is provided.”
    • Proposed penalty: $5,000 a day x 200 days = $1,000,000.

Total proposed penalties assessed: $1,000,000.

This Consent Order was fully executed on Jan. 25, 2022, and on March 25, 2022, the City of Gulf Breeze submitted an in-kind proposal which was approved by DEP on May 12, 2022. The City of Gulf Breeze will fund two septic-to-sewer conversion projects to improve water quality in the basin. The first project will expand the Soundside Project to encompass a portion of Woodlawn Beach Road and will connect 24 existing homes and six vacant platted lots to sewer. The second project will convert 16 properties in the Montrose Avenue and N. Sunset Avenue area to sewer. These projects are valued at more than $1.5 million. You can learn more about the City of Gulf Breeze’s approved environmental enhancements here

DEP issued Midway Water System a draft Consent Order on Jan. 7, 2022, to resolve the following violations with proposed associated penalty amounts:

Midway Water System

  • Violation: 62-555.350(1), F.A.C. “Suppliers of water shall operate and maintain their public water systems so as to comply with applicable standards in 62-550 F.A.C.”
    • Proposed penalty: $1,000 a day x 200 days = $200,000.
  • Violation: 62-555.350(10)(a), F.A.C. “Failure to Notify State Watch Office.”
    • Proposed penalty: $5,000 a day x 4 days = $20,000.

Total proposed penalties assessed: $220,000.

This Consent Order was fully executed on Jan. 21, 2022, and on Jan. 28, 2022, Midway Water System submitted an in-kind environmental project which was approved by DEP on Feb. 28, 2022. Midway Water System will purchase a FlexNet AMI System that will offer advantages such as streamlined meter readings and mainline leak detection, a Vac-Trailer that will reduce leak repair time by half and reduce possible pressure loss and will install a 6” waterline extension to Beaver Pond that will add an additional way to supply water to the area. These enhancements to the water system are valued at nearly $355,000. You can learn more about the approved environmental enhancement project here.

We are committed to keeping this community informed as we progress through this enforcement process. All public information related to DEP’s investigation is available online

For more information, please see the joint updates issued by DEP and DOH. (Distribution of these daily media advisories stopped Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.)


Date Advisory / Notice
Nov. 12, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 11, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 10, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 9, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 8, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 7, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 6, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 5, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 4, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 3, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 2, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Nov. 1, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 31, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 30, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 29, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 28, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 27, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 26, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 25, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 24, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 23, 2021 DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 22, 2021 (evening) DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Oct. 22, 2021 (morning)

DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida

Oct. 21, 2021

DEP/DOH Joint Potable Water Update: Midway Water System, Gulf Breeze, Florida

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Last Modified:
July 1, 2022 - 12:13pm

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