Group plans protest, pushing for grant to keep Wekiwa Springs clean

Neighbors who live near Wekiwa Springs face a deadline to try and keep the springs clean and safe, especially as there is an ongoing bacteria issue there.

The 'Friends of Wekiwa' group plans to picket on Tuesday morning before a county commission meeting. They say septic tanks are causing bacteria to flow into the springs. They have a plan to fix it but they need grant money from the state and they are not sure if they are going to get it.

The protest is expected to begin at 8 a.m. in a last-minute appeal to Governor Ron DeSantis.

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"We did not make the first cut so I'm concerned," Commissioner Christine Moore said. She is worried that a $2.4 million grant to save Wekiwa Springs will not be approved. The County and the Friends of Wekiwa say that they need the Department of Environmental Protection grant to clean up Wekiwa Springs because it is contaminated with nitrogen.

30 percent of the bacteria is coming from septic tanks and the plan is to switch 2,100 homes in the area from septic tanks to sewers. The project will cost $123 million though.

So, without the grant, Commissioner Moore said that they will lose all previously-approved grants and the project won't happen this year. She urged that "Orange County government has contributed. The citizens are prepared to do so. We really need Governor DeSantis to help us with this final grant."

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