Signs of progress in septic tank phaseout in Jacksonville neighborhoods

3 different projects are in 3 different stages

There's been significant movement on public-works which the News4JAX ITEAM has been following for years: the City Of Jacksonville and JEA's Septic Tank Phaseout program. I-TEAM investigator Tarik Minor has new information about three different projects that are in three different stages in northwest Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s been significant movement in the city of Jacksonville and JEA’s septic tank phaseout program.

The effort, which the News4JAX I-TEAM has been following for years, is aimed at helping the environment and fulfilling decades-old promises made by leaders to neighborhoods across the city.

Three different projects are in three different stages in Northwest Jacksonville. The first of the three is underway in the Biltmore neighborhood, where residents who were promised access to city sewers in the late 1960s are finally getting connected. Considerable progress is also being made in the Beverly Hills neighborhood. Meanwhile, in the Christobel community, there’s plenty of work still to be done.

JEA Community Involvement and Outreach manager Greg Corcoran took News4JAX cameras to the site of septic tank phaseout work in the Beverly Hills West neighborhood.

“When we do sewer work, we actually have to rebuild the entire road — not just paving. We have to build the road base and then we have to do the paving,” Corcoran said.

Corcoran calls this work a game-changer for the neighborhood and for nearby businesses that will no longer have to rely on septic tanks and water from shallow rock wells. The entire community is essentially being built from the ground up.

He says the project in the Beverly Hills neighborhood is 20% complete, with a lot of the deep sewer line installation now done.

Corcoran says hundreds of people living in the Biltmore community are already connected to the system, with the completion of the project slated for some time next year.

As for the Christobel area, JEA and the city of Jacksonville are in the outreach stage. They need 70% of the neighborhood to agree with the project before construction begins.

Residents like Loretta Barfield and Carol Gamble are urging homeowners with any questions to get involved and approve the construction for this generation and others to come.

“Sign up, come up to the library. We’re right here by Edgewood. Sign the paperwork we need to,” Barfield said.

Gamble said: “It’s getting the word out, and we need to get it done.

If you live in the Christobel neighborhood and would like any information about the proposed project, there’s a special JEA number you can call: 904-665-7500.

The overall funding provided between JEA and the city of Jacksonville for the current septic tank program is currently $82.6 million. JEA is contributing $52.4 million.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.