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 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's (DEP) Wastewater Management Program. DEP also regulates smaller domestic wastewater treatment facilities, also known as "package plants," as well as networked, distributed wastewater treatment systems. DEP's Onsite Sewage Program has responsibility for regulating OSTDS, which treat approximately 30 percent of our state's domestic wastewater.
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.
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 Wastewater Management Program in Tallahassee at 850-245-8589. 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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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.