SFWMD and Department of Health to enforce sanctions against illegal dump in the Acreage

Agencies decide Acreage dump is illegal

THE ACREAGE, Fla. - Flies and a stench filled an Acreage neighborhood because of an illegal dump for months and now the dump has been issued a violation notice by the South Florida Water Management District.

Forty acres of mulch, horse manure, trash and more still sit across from Pierce Hammock Elementary School in the Acreage.

Residents who live nearby don't smell the stench it normally fills the air with though lately.  

"They haven't been moving any dirt over there recently," Debra Murphy said. "When they're not moving it, the flies and the allergies aren't as bad."

We introduced you to Murphy back in March. She believed her well water was browning due to the dumping at her neighboring property.

"We noticed that it started stinking our water and it started turning more yellow," she said back in March.

Since then, a notice was issued by the SFWMD, stopping all dumping activities on the Vila Nursery property. 

Other agencies from the Palm Beach County Health Department all the way up to the Department of Environmental Protection are also involved in the investigation.

So far, they've found that the dumping is not a normal farming operation, which means someone may have to clean up the mess or pay a fine.

"I don't think that there is going to be an immediate impact, but I think that the type of material needs to be tested to check to see what actually is the material made up of," Lisa Tropepe of the Indian Trail Improvement District said.

Tropepe is the engineer for the district that serves the Acreage and urged agencies to investigate the dumping site.

She wants to know if the dumping has seeped into the neighborhood's water supply, but she does not think it is what browned Murphy's water.

"I don't think so because those wells are probably several hundred feet away and they are probably close to 75 to 100 feet deep," she said.

Because of the mess, Murphy decided to switch to city water to have clear water again.

She's happy that headache is gone as well as the stench that led to her putting up fly traps around the house she's now taken down.

The SFWMD, DEP, and DOH all declined to speak on camera about the dump to NewsChannel 5 after two days of interview requests.

How SFWMD and the DOH will enforce sanctions on the dump is yet to be seen.

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