In 1999, with nearshore water quality deteriorating around the Florida Keys, the State of Florida mandated through legislation that the entire island chain install advanced wastewater treatment systems to eliminate the use of tens of thousands of septic tanks, illegal cesspits and ineffective small treatment units.
In 2000, Monroe County completed the Sanitary Wastewater Master Plan to meet the mandate.
In 2007, the wastewater plan was updated.
It has been a daunting task for a small, linear county that stretches more than 100 miles over a series of 42 islands.
The price tag has reached about $1 billion for the cost of 12 major service area systems and the individual hookups by homeowners and business owners. But now the finish line is in sight.
The final piece of the County's wastewater master plan - as well as its largest and most complex - is the $196.5 million Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System that includes a deep injection well and covers from Mile Marker 17 on Sugarloaf Key to Mile Marker 33 on Big Pine Key.
The Cudjoe system's treatment plant began operations in October 2015. The deep injection well, which disposes of treated effluent 3,200 feet below the surface, was completed in May 2017. And, in the spring of 2017, the collection and transmission system was completed, with the exception of a few small neighborhoods that include No Name Key.
Monroe County partnered with the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority to service all unincorporated areas south of Mile Marker 87. The wastewater master plan is implemented through an interlocal agreement between Monroe County and FKAA.
Service Area Systems
There are 12 major service areas in the Keys, operated and maintained by eight entities:
- Ocean Reef: North Key Largo Utility Corp. 305-367-0011
- Key Largo: Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District
- Islamorada: Village of Islamorada Collection System (sends wastewater to Key Largo for treatment).
- Layton: FKAA
- Duck Key/Conch Key: FKAA
- Key Colony Beach: City of Key Colony Beach
- Marathon: City of Marathon
- Cudjoe Regional: FKAA
- Big Coppitt: FKAA
- Bay Point: FKAA
- Stock Island: Key West Resort Utilities Corp.
- Key West: City of Key West
Here is the latest update on the countywide hookups status and the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System.
Hookup Grants For Very Low- and Low-Income Households
To ease the financial burden on very low- and low-income households to hookup their residential homes to the central sewer system, funding assistance is available through a Community Development Block Grant.