In locations where providing sewer service is not feasible due to distance from sewer infrastructure, facility capacity, or insufficient density of high-risk systems, there are options to upgrade the highest risk septic systems with higher performing technology to increase the nutrient and pathogen removal efficiency.
This includes converting traditional septic tanks to Advanced Treatment Units (ATUs) which are specialized tanks designed to reduce nitrogen before it enters the drainfield. These are commonly referred to as “aerobic systems” because they incorporate air into the treatment system to help oxygen-hungry bacteria as they “burn off” excess nitrogen.
Funding is included in the Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan to upgrade septic systems that are not feasible to connect to central sewer. Homeowner grants of up to $18,000 are available for eligible homeowners to upgrade their conventional septic system to an advanced septic system. Eligibility amounts are based on a property’s estimated pollution to the groundwater through its septic drainfield.
The Save Our Indian River Lagoon Plan Project Story Map, shows how much is available for your home. Open the map and click on tab #3 Septic System Upgrades. Zoom in and click on your property to see the grant amount available. You may also email IRLProject@brevardfl.gov with any questions.
Research is also being conducted by Brevard County scientists on passive treatment systems. These combine regular septic tanks with specialized drainfield fill materials to remove nitrogen. This eliminates the need for the extra maintenance needs and higher costs of ATUs.
It is important to note that although the County is taking the lead on these projects, the Florida Department of Health is responsible for the regulation and permitting of septic systems. The County will continue to coordinate with the Florida Department of Health on the septic system projects recommended in this plan.