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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Despite fight, St. Johns River faces pumping

Published April 18, 2009 - West Volusia News
District officials warned Seminole and other utilities to wean themselves off the dwindling supply of fresh groundwater. The district wanted Seminole to expand its ability to reuse treated wastewater for lawn irrigation.

District staff first recommended approving the permit last February, but the city of Jacksonville, St. Johns County and a river advocacy group called the St. Johns Riverkeeper asked for review by a state hearing judge. The judge, based on testimony from consultants for the district and Seminole County at a hearing last fall, recommended approving the permit. The judge concluded the county could pull an average of 5.5 million gallons of water a day with no perceptible harm. The district estimates that's about one quarter of 1 percent of the river's total flow at that point, about two miles north of Lake Monroe.

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