Governor's budget addresses algae, some say it's not enough

Posted at 5:05 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 23:59:17-05

Governor Rick Scott's is proposing to address algae blooms plaguing the Treasure Coast in his budget plan.

The governor's plan focuses on investing millions of dollars to help cities and homeowners convert from septic to sewer systems which could help in preventing future algae blooms.

Chad Delrossa says this is a long time coming after last summer. "It's been highlighted enough to where they have to take action."

Martin County has already taken steps to switch communities from septic tanks to sewer systems.

Missing from his plan is money set aside to buy the land south of Lake Okeechobee.

Environmental engineer Gary Goforth applauds the governor's proposal, but he believes septic tanks only contribute a small percentage to the algae blooms.

"5-10 percent on an annual year. Less than that during years like 2016 where there's a very high loading from Lake Okeechobee," says Goforth.

He says buying the land south should be a top priority.

A Martin County spokesperson said since 1990 the county has eliminated 2,000 septic tanks. In a statement she said in part:  "The county supports Governor Scott's proposed 50/50 grant matching in support of septic to sewer conversions."