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Septic to Sewer Project

Let's Make Vero Beach Septic System Free!

Vero Beach stands at a pivotal moment in its environmental stewardship journey. Our beloved Indian River Lagoon, once a vibrant hub for fishing and swimming, is now impaired, facing significant water quality challenges. The culprit? Aging septic systems, leaching pollutants directly into the lagoon.

The Challenge and Our Response

Currently, around 750 homes within Vero Beach city limits still rely on septic systems. These systems, particularly in our mainland communities where median household incomes are below $60,000, pose a financial and ecological burden. Transitioning to sewer systems has been prohibitively expensive for many, with costs averaging between $16,000 and $17,000 per connection.

Recognizing this, the Clean Water Coalition, in collaboration with the Indian River Land Trust and the Community Foundation of Indian River County, has initiated a groundbreaking pilot project for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed homeowners, or ALICE, owner-occupied homes. This program aims to connect up to 75  homes to the sewer system at a significantly reduced cost. Under this initiative, homeowners will contribute approximately $5,500, spread over 10 years without interest, making it a feasible $550 annually.

Comprehensive Support and Incentives

The Economic Opportunities Council of Indian River County plays a pivotal role in supporting homeowners through this transition. They assist with the application process, ensuring that households with a $50,000 income for a family of four can qualify. The City of Vero Beach complements these efforts by providing free financing and credits for connection fees.

Your Role in this Environmental Milestone

The success of this pilot program hinges on community support. CWC is absorbing $8,000 in project support costs, in addition to our direct financial contribution. We welcome and greatly appreciate any donations to help cover these expenses.

Upon the successful completion of this pilot, our goal is to secure further funding (both public and private) to extend this vital service to the remaining homes in need.

The Septic to Sewer Project: A Closer Look

The City of Vero Beach (COVB) has innovatively addressed this issue by installing the STEP (Septic Tank Effluent Pump) system. This system enables homeowners to connect to city sewers more affordably than traditional methods.

The Indian River Land Trust, The Economic Opportunities Council of Indian River County, The Indian River Community Foundation, and the Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County are collectively spearheading the STS Project.

Impact and Vision

Connecting these homes to the COVB sewer will dramatically reduce the flow of pollutants, including nitrogen and phosphorus, into the Indian River Lagoon. It's not just an environmental imperative but a commitment to the well-being of our low-income residents, aligning with our broader mission to foster a sustainable and thriving Vero Beach.

Join us in this transformative journey to safeguard our natural resources and uplift our community. Every step counts in our collective quest for a cleaner, healthier Vero Beach.

We Need Your Support Today!

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