Septic-sewer conversions costing residents up to $11,000 in Martin County

STUART, Fla. - How much is too much to pay to protect the environment?

For homeowners on the Treasure Coast, $11,000 is the price they have to pay and some of them are not happy about it.

Don Bartz, who lives at North River Shores in Stuart, said the amount of money he's putting into a sewer conversion is a huge burden.

"That's a big hit," said Bartz.

Melanie Peterson, Vice Chair of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board responded Monday saying homeowners will realize it's worth it in the long run.

"I think they will, I think they will be proud of it," said Peterson.

Dr. Brian Lapointe's research shows North River Shores is part of several hotspots on the Treasure Coast where fecal pollution is high.

Which is why Martin County leaders are moving forward with conversion projects.

Peterson used examples in Marathon and even the Lake Worth Lagoon as a talking point.

"Palm Beach County is another very aggressive county with septic to sewer conversions and we have been targeting sewer conversions and we're seeing good data from those conversions," said Peterson.

She hopes people will buy into these projects.

Martin County leaders say they will go back to state lawmakers asking for more money to help homeowners pay for these conversions ultimately lowering the financial burden.

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