The picture to the right is not snowballs in Cedar Key, but rather the result of putting fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the drain. These are grease balls that were recently removed from the system. Putting fats, oils and grease down the drain can really gum up the works and cause failure at the sewage treatment plant.  This can in turn result in harmful discharges to the environment.  It is important that all individuals and business in Cedar Key take great care not to dispose of fats, oils or grease down any drain. 

--Always wipe grease off pots and dishes with a paper towel before washing or putting in the dishwasher.

--Always put used fats, oil, or grease in a container and then into the garbage.
This page was last updated: April 25, 2016


And if they don’t disintegrate, they WILL cause serious problems
for you and the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District

It’s a problem affecting wastewater systems across the country: the increasing popularity of so-called “flushable wipes” in place of toilet paper.  While toilet paper disintegrates quickly after flushing, wipes clearly do not, despite the claims of manufacturers.  A simple test conducted by Consumer Reports, which can be viewed online, shows toilet paper breaking apart after just a few seconds of mild agitation in water, while a sample of the most popular wipes survived being in agitated in water with an electric kitchen mixer for 10 minutes with no noticeable disintegration.

What this means for you is the possibility of your own pipes
becoming clogged with wipes so that wastewater backs
up into your home.  It also means the prospect of much
higher wastewater rates in the future.  The Cedar Key Water
and Sewer District has already experienced several
instances of wipes becoming entangled in and disabling
wastewater pumps.  Cleaning and repairing these pumps
is a dirty, time-consuming task, that requires your friends
James, Neil and Billy to disconnect the pump, raise it out
of the lift station, drain the sewage out of it, and then
struggle to remove the stringy mess from the impellers. 
Not only is this a terrible waste of staff time, it can be
dangerous, and very costly if the pump eventually has
to be replaced.  Lift Station Pump Clogged With Wipes

Some wastewater utilities are already having to install expensive grinder pumps to deal with the problem.  If the District is forced to go this route, you can be sure that your wastewater rates will go up due to the extraordinary expense of purchasing, installing, powering, and maintaining a large number of these grinder pumps.

So PLEASE, for the sake of your own pipes, and to keep wastewater rates as low as possible, do not flush any of the following items, regardless of whether the packaging claims the item is flushable:

•Adult or baby wipes    •Diapers•Cotton swabs
•Paper towels•Moist towelettes •Toilet cleaning pads
•Feminine hygiene products      •Any consumer item that is not toilet paper

APRIL 25, 2016

Good things have been happening at the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District.  Here’s a summary.

Special Legislative Appropriations Received

A special thanks is owed to our state legislative delegation, Senator Charlie Dean and Representative Charles Stone, who were both instrumental in securing legislative appropriations in the amounts of $400,000 in 2014, and $450,000 in 2016, to help pay for new water facilities needed by the District. These appropriations will help rates remain affordable for the District’s customers as required new water facilities, discussed below, are designed and constructed. 

Funding for New Water Plant Identified

The District’s existing water treatment plant was completed in 1965 and is thus over 50 years old and nearing the end of its useful life.  During the summer of 2012 the District’s wellfield experienced a temporary saltwater intrusion event which brought to light the need for the District to have the capability to treat salty well water when intrusion events occurred.  In addition, federal and state drinking water standards are getting more and more stringent.

In light of the above, it has become clear that the District must build a new water treatment plant.  The preliminary engineering design for the plant, prepared by Mittauer Associates, uses a combination of sand filtration and membrane technology so that the plant can treat both the normal mineral rich water, and the salty water that is present during saltwater intrusion events.  The total cost of the plant is estimated to be $5.9 million.

Working with several funding sources, especially the Rural Development agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the District has been able to put into place the following funding package for the project:

State Revolving Fund Grant:    $   200,000
Special 2016 appropriation from the Florida Legislature:$   450,000
Grant from US Rural Development:$3,750,000
Low interest loan from U.S. Rural Development:$1,500,000

With this funding package in place, construction of the new water treatment plant should commence within 2016

Well 5 Completed

In preparation for the construction of the new water treatment plant, it was determined that the District needed to drill a new well to replace the aging Well 3, and to provide water with the same mineral content as the existing Well 4.  Thus, this new Well 5 would be constructed at the existing wellfield adjacent to and at the same depth as existing Well 4.

The District Board decided to use the 2014 legislative appropriation to move ahead with the drilling of this well prior to commencement of construction of the new water treatment plant.  During 2015 the District contracted with Mittauer and Associates to do the engineering, and then Worth Construction was selected as the general contractor with Complete Services as the well driller.  All went smoothly, according to plan, and within budget.  After required testing, the well was cleared for service by the Department of Environmental Protection and went online on April 6. 

Pipelines to Be Removed from Bridges

In conjunction with the replacement of the Tyre Creek Bridge, the Daughtry Bayou Bridge, and the Dock Street Bridge, the Florida Department of Transportation has agreed to fund the removal of the water and sewer lines currently attached to these bridges.  Removal of the water and wastewater lines from these bridges requires that the lines be “directionally drilled” through the earth beneath the bridges.  Having the lines placed in the earth beneath the bridges rather than attached to the bridges eliminates the possibility of the lines being ruptured in a storm or by some sort of collision.  In addition to the lines on these three bridges, there are wastewater lines on Bridges 1, 2 and 3 on SR 24 that need to be removed and directionally drilled.  It is the District’s goal to get these lines removed as well over the coming years.