Concerns over human waste brought from South Florida

A deal that brings South Florida bio-solids to Brevard County likely will be canceled, due to public outrage.   

The advantage of bio-solids is it makes soil richer. Farmers and ranchers have a big use for it, but when it rains, run-off goes into drains that eventually lead to bodies of water.  Concerns over how the waste might be contributing to water pollution has been the subject of extreme scrutiny. 

Lake Washington is a public drinking water source. County officials admit that fertilizer, made from human waste and used in Brevard County fields ends up in the lake.

"So why are we adding 'poo' to it?" asks resident Karen Colby.

The answer to that question is making Brevard County residents furious. In 2007, the county commission made a deal to take human waste from South Florida, treat it with chemicals, and spread it in rural areas. It has to go somewhere. The county charges a fee to take it in.

"I'm terrified. We don't like to take showers, we don't like to take bath, we have been through so much bottled water for brushing teeth, and we're always coughing, coughing, coughing." Colby said.

She is a mother of six in Indian Harbour Beach and is an outspoken opponent of the program. She is encouraged, because next Tuesday, the commission will take up the issue.

"There's not an economic advantage, and it's not a logical policy," said Commissioner Bryan Lober.

Officials say the bio-solids are treated, but there is a lot of debate about how effective that is. Commissioner Lober said the unknowns and the negatives outweigh the positives, so in Brevard County, those concerned about what comes out of the faucet could be at the end of the line on this decade-long practice.