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Septic Tanks Wetlands and Wakulla Springs

Septic Tanks Wetlands and Wakulla Springs

At this point, I'm sure everyone in Wakulla County is aware of the Wetlands discussion that has taken place over the past year.  I'm not aware of any topic that has generated more passion than this one.  We are fortunate to live in one of the most natural and beautiful counties in the entire state.  We all understand the valuable role played by wetlands.  We all want to protect wetlands and preserve our way of life.  

Unfortunately, passion for an issue does not always guarantee that the truth will emerge.  Often times, the truth is overlooked or even suppressed when it does not fit neatly within the tactic chosen to achieve the end result.  Here is an example.

The Wakulla Wetlands Alliance has spent the past year educating our citizens about the importance of wetlands.  Most of their tactic has been centered on water quality.  Most of their water quality statements have been centered on the quality of water that flows out of Wakulla Springs and ultimately makes its way into our Gulf and estuaries.  To reinforce this point, they cite statistics regarding the nitrogen levels that are detected in Wakulla Springs.  They correctly blame septic tanks as one of the sources of nitrogen that makes its way to our springs.  After setting this stage, it is natural human instinct for all of us to be emotionally connected to this issue.  We all understand the value of clean drinking water.  We can't live without it.  We all understand the recreational and commercial benefit we receive from our lakes, rivers, estuaries and Gulf.  Once we are emotionally connected to this issue, it's natural to wonder or ask, what can we do to help?  After the Wakulla Wetlands Alliance has us emotionally invested, it's easy for them to take advantage of our sincere desire to help.  They tell us to vote yes on Referendum A if we want to protect our water and fisheries.  They tell us to adopt the proposed wetlands ordinance.

I must admit, that's a pretty easy sell.  It's not difficult to get good people invested in their sell pitch.  But are they telling us the truth, or are they taking advantage of our emotions and our innate desire to protect our home?  Let's take a closer look.

If you are like most people, there is a good chance that you have not actually read the entire proposed wetlands ordinance.  That's OK.  I like to think that is what you elected me to do.  Nonetheless, it would be easy to assume that the proposed ordinance will address the water quality that the Wakulla Wetlands Alliance speaks of so passionately.  It would be easy to assume that larger proposed buffers will reduce nitrogen and improve our water quality, right?  Of course, seems like common sense.  Why else would the Wakulla Wetlands Alliance have chosen water quality as the main focus of their push to convince you to vote yes?

I have read the proposed ordinance, many times, and I refer back to it almost every day in my pursuit to make sure our citizens know the truth.

Take a guess.  How many times do you think the words septic tank appears in the proposed ordinance?

The answer is zero!

How many times to you think the word nitrogen appears in the proposed ordinance?

The answer is zero!

How many times do you think the proposed ordinance discusses buffers or setback requirements related to septic tanks?

The answer is zero!

In fact, the proposed ordinance has not one bit of language that addresses or regulates where septic tanks can be placed on your property.  You may ask yourself, how can this be?  The Wakulla Wetlands Alliance tells us the proposed ordinance will improve water quality in Wakulla County.  The truth is, the proposed ordinance does nothing to control the amount of nitrogen that ends up in our aquifer.  The proposed ordinance is about one thing, control of private property.  If these folks can't tell us the truth, why would we give them our vote?  Vote NO on Referendum A!  

You now know the truth. Your friends and family deserve to know the truth also. Please share with everyone you know, by Facebook, email, and personal conversations. Also leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

10 Responses to “Septic Tanks Wetlands and Wakulla Springs”

  1. Marcus Floyd says:

    Question: Wouldn't this also dramatically increase the cost, or prohibit all together having sewer run to places like Wakulla Gardens, where there are a number of small wetlands around the area?

    • ralph says:

      No Marcus, the proposed ordinance does not regulate public sewer or septic tanks.  They are regulated by the State Department of Health.  The proponents of the proposed ordinance try to make us believe that the ordinance wil improve water quality and reduce nitrogen.  The ordinance will require a new septic tank be located any further than the current requirement, without an ordinance.

  2. Doug says:

    I'm confused. You mentioned a few things that are missing in the proposal, but leave little on what is in it. can you tell us in what way and who benifits should it not pass (majority vote of no)? I'm voting yes as of right now. So I suspect a bit more information on this could help, if what your suggesting is true, but then again, what truth are you suggesting? like I said…..I'm confused. please clarify….

    • ralph says:


      Thank you very much for visiting my blog.  I appreciate you gathering the facts to help you make an informed decision.  I try to focus each of my blog posts on a single aspect of the proposed ordinance.  Each one points out the various reasons why the ordinance is bad for our county.  We all benefit if Referendum A fails.  We benefit from the reduction of governement regulations.  4 State and Federal agencies already regulate wetlands in Wakulla County.  We do not need a 5th layer of Governement.  We all benefit from reduced risk of lawsuits.  Today, there is zero risk of any property owner suing Wakulla County regarding wetlands.  If the ordinance is adopted, the risk returns to Wakulla County tax payers.  We all benefit from the stabilization of our tax base.  When properties are rendered unbuildable, their value is reduced.  When their taxable value is reduced, the County's tax revenue is reduced.  When the County receives less revenue, we must reduce Government services or increase taxes to makup for the shortfall.  I could continue on, but I will post a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Vote No.  If you have additional questions, to help you reach a decision, just leave a comment or give me a call at 597-3858.  I appreciate the opportunity to assist you!


  3. James says:

    Hey Doug, I hope I can clear things up so there is no confusion. The message that the Wakulla Wetlands Alliance is trying to get across is : "I am a responsible resident that lives on the wetlands, but I don’t think YOU can be responsible…. so we need the government to step in and tell you how to treat your own property."

    These people live on the wetlands, but want to make sure that you either can't live on the wetlands or have really strict rules if you are fortunate to live near them. Surprisingly, most of them don't even know the details of the ordinance. They have no plans to personally follow the details of the ordinance. This whole ordinance is a matter of preception vs reality. Most of these people are not very nice people if you even question them, I have learned. They are anti-government (though they seem to want more government control over your property). They use bullying and manipulation tactics for the sake of 'democracy', and then want to give one commisioner veto power over all (no doubt the one commisioner they support).

    This ordinance is unconstitutional, costly, and just plain demonic. Or damonic…if you know the details.

    • Doug says:

      Thanks for the clarification. I had to ask for you to go a bit deeper into the original answer to understand the authinticy of your answer… I am changeling my vote from yes to no.
      I will be sharing this info with my wife and friends.
      Thank you.

      I hope your able to prove it to be unconstitutional and kill it once it is passed by the voters, as it seems as if many are for it.
      Would be great to have a few lines from it indicating it’s true intent that I can share, making it spread like a wildfire, as if the info isn’t shared, mist are going to vote as I was going to…. And that was ‘yes’, as it seems only logical when the statement made is “save the wetlands”. I have a big fear of contractors building homes after filling the swamp up for homes, then dining out the swamp, making it deeper, to accomodate everyone’s private dock as they have done in South Florida.

      • ralph says:

        Thank you Doug.  I appreciate you taking the time to understand this very important issue.  From the beginning, I have been confident that good people will make the right decision, if they are given the truth.  We need everyone to spread the truth and encourage their friends and family to cast their ballot.  Have a great weekend.  Hope you can make it to the Stone Crab Festival in St. Marks.

        • Doug says:

          We may go… Not sure yet. I am however rather confident that this will pass as “save the wetlands” is just a no brainer slogan on the surface, and far too many folks make big decisions based on what is onlyon the surface…. tis the reason our country is where it is now.

          • Dave says:

            Doug dont let their fast political talk fool you. The burden on the tax payers would be minimal at best. The real issue hear is about money and profit. Ask Ralph how much profit he might lose if this was to go into effect. Funny how most of the heavey opposition is coming from developers and realtors. Why is that I wonder…….

          • ralph says:

            Dave, I welcome your opinion and will always fight for your right to express it.  The fact that you think my motivation is based on my own profit, simply means that you have not taken the time to get to know me.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Have a great day!


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