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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Illegal dumps lose 90 tons

Published in Print May 31, 2008
Household trash and other debris piling up at remote, illegal dump sites is a major reason for the declining water quality at the area's freshwater springs. But the Southwest Florida Water Management District has just finished a three-year project to clean up the mess.

The agency has removed more than 90 tons of junk from spots around Hernando, Pasco and Citrus counties where sinkholes have allowed contaminants to quickly flow into the groundwater.

The cleanup project was budgeted to cost $200,000, but the work was wrapped up for just $90,000. Part of that savings came about because the team found out early on that if they examined the sites using an $800 camera they bought to lower into sinkholes, they could save thousands of dollars in consultant's fees, Zajac said.

The project was part of the district's Springs Clean Up Initiative. There are more than 100 springs in the district, with the majority clustered around the five first-magnitude springs systems at Weeki Wachee, Homosassa, Chassahowitzka, Kings Bay and the Rainbow River.

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