Water-Related News

FDEP fines Haines City $157K for wastewater spills

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued Haines City a $157,000 fine for a series of unauthorized wastewater spills, including millions of gallons released during hurricanes Ian and Nicole.

FDEP officials have found Haines City discharged more than 65 million gallons of reclaimed or untreated wastewater from July 2022 to December 2022 without state authorization. Of the total, approximately 884,000 was untreated wastewater.

Two major spills were a direct result of heavy rain received during hurricanes Ian and Nicole. Haines City reported that during Hurricane Ian more than 15.7 million gallons of reclaimed water was released from the city's containment site and allowed to flow into a drainage ditch that empties into wetlands that filter into Lake Marion. The city released another 9.4 million of the reclaimed water during four days of heavy rain from Hurricane Nicole in November 2022. The state levied a $15,000 fine on the city for each of these storm-related events.