JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We have an update on the News4JAX I-TEAM investigation into the City of Jacksonville’s Septic Tank Phaseout program. When completed, it will connect thousands of residents to city sewer services.
There are three major projects underway -- in the Biltmore, Beverly Hills and Christobel neighborhood. Thursday, the I-TEAM spent some time in Beverly Hills where families, one right after the other, are finally seeing the promise fulfilled that city leaders made during Jacksonville’s consolidation in 1968.
″I called them constantly.” Gloria Peterson is one of hundreds of homeowners who -- over the years -- reached out to city leaders about connecting their neighborhoods to Jacksonville city sewer services. Her house and others in the Beverly Hills neighborhood are located in areas prone to flooding during heavy rains, which often times leads to septic tank malfunction, pollution, and the discharge of untreated waste water.
Her neighbor, Sheryl Stanley’s home was recently connected, “I’m happy, I’m very happy about it, very happy.”
″These projects are game changers for these communities, obviously a lot of these neighborhoods have been promised sewer for years, so we are in here, making sure the promises are fulfilled with the city,” JEA Community Involvement and Project Outreach Director Greg Corcoran said.
Corcoran tells News4JAX that crews aren’t only installing connections to city sewer lines -- they are also replacing the existing water lines, rebuilding and repaving all the roads, constructing new curbs and working on private property.
″The sewer line comes from the street, we make the connection to the city right away,” Corcoran explained. “So we will make the connection in the back, there were multiple septic tanks at this location, so we abandoned the septic tank.”
Corcoran posted video to Twitter, illustrating how the sewer lines were dug, and just how long of run it is to connect to residents homes. The construction site is now 100% complete.
- In the Biltmore neighborhood, 312 homes have already been connected to city sewer services in a project that’s 95% complete.
- In the Beverly Hills West neighborhood, 749 families have abandoned their septic tank for city sewers. This project is 50% complete, with Beverly Hills East next on the schedule, starting in October. That includes 511 homes.
- The design for the Christobel neighborhood is starting soon.
“We have great news for the Cristobel area,” Corcoran said. “We have reached the 70% threshold to move forward with that project so 70% of those property owners have signed up for he program and it will move forward with construction and design.”
JEA and the City of Jacksonville have allocated $119 million to the Septic Tank Phaseout program. They’ve added yet another project to their goal in the Riverview neighborhood. Thousands of homes there will also be transitioned to city sewer services at some point in the future.