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Domestic Wastewater Program

Proper treatment and reuse or disposal of domestic wastewater is essential for protecting our state's most vital resource - water. Water is vital to Florida's environment, our state's economy and our future. It is the essence of our unique state and forms the basis for almost all of Florida's ecosystems.

Each person in Florida generates about 100 gallons of domestic wastewater each day. This wastewater must be managed to protect public health, water quality, recreation, fish and wildlife, and the aesthetic appeal of our waterways. Domestic wastewater in Florida is treated either by on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems (i.e., OSTDS or septic tanks) or by centralized domestic (municipal) wastewater treatment facilities. The Florida Department of Health - Onsite Sewage Program has responsibility for regulating OSTDS, which treat a good portion of our state's domestic wastewater. However, the majority of the state's domestic wastewater is treated by larger centralized treatment facilities, which are the regulatory responsibility of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

DEP, through its district offices, works with wastewater utilities and Florida residents to protect and conserve our water resources while meeting the basic public health need for effective wastewater treatment. DEP is responsible for permitting and compliance activities for over 2,000 domestic wastewater treatment facilities in the state. These activities are part of DEP's coordinated efforts to promote safe, efficient and environmentally sound management of Florida's domestic wastewater.

The Domestic Wastewater Program in Tallahassee is responsible for the development and administration of rules and policy for proper treatment of wastewater from domestic facilities. Other responsibilities include such activities as industrial pretreatment, biosolids management, reuse of reclaimed water, wastewater to wetlands and coordination of on-site sewage treatment and disposal activities with the Department of Health.

For More Information

Please browse our domestic wastewater topics listed on the left side for more information. If you still have any general questions about domestic wastewater, contact the Domestic Wastewater Program in Tallahassee at 850-245-8605. For permitting questions related to a specific project or area of the state, you may wish to contact the appropriate district office.

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