Seminole Co. must implement new process to clean drinking water


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Seminole County is about to launch a major project to improve drinking water for its residents.

The county plans to pour $17 million into bringing its northwest plant up to federal Environmental Protection Agency standards. They plan to incorporate a treatment process similar to what bottled-water manufacturers use.

Some county residents, like the Morales family, said they find the water far from perfect -- but don't think the upgrades are necessary.

"We don't think it tastes good, and we prefer to buy bottled water and use filters," Elise Morales said.

The Markham Regional plant is only about a decade old, but the EPA standards are requiring the costly upgrade.

"Yes, it does surprise me. I think that's why my water bill just went up," said Betty Pagozalski, a Seminole County resident.

The plant uses the most basic treatment process to eliminate a long list of contaminants. The new process will have to use less bleach to clean drinking water.

Even though the federal government toughened the standards, it is not giving the county any monetary help. Residents will have to foot the bill.

"I don't see that we need it. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, our water is fine," Pagozalski said.

County officials hope the new system will be enough to tackle whatever else the EPA adds on to the list for years to come.

The work on the plant will begin early next year and will take a year and a half to complete.