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Water-Related News

Seminole considers urging legislators to adopt stricter drinking water protections

Seminole County commissioners on Tuesday considered urging Florida lawmakers in the coming weeks to adopt a statewide policy during next year’s legislative session that provides more protective standards for Florida’s drinking water.

The move follows a recent investigative series by the Orlando Sentinel that reported an extensive contamination of the industrial chemical 1,4-dioxane in the underground Floridan Aquifer in Seminole’s northwest side where some of the drinking water wells for Lake Mary, Sanford and Seminole have been located for years.

The contamination is alleged to have come from an old factory in Lake Mary just east of Interstate 4 that manufactured circuit boards for telephone systems from 1968 to 2003.

The former owners of the plant have denied liability for the contaminants polluting the water supplies. But they are financially supporting efforts to clean up the property off Rinehart Road and financed a high-end water treatment plant for the city of Lake Mary.

But Seminole commissioners during their brief discussion did not mention the contamination or 1,4-dioxane. Nor did they provide any details as to the extent of any new and protective drinking water standards. Florida lacks any drinking water rules for 1,4-dioxane. The chemical is categorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as likely to cause cancer.

They noted that state Sen. Jason Brodeur, a Republican from Sanford, chairs the Senate appropriations committee on agriculture, environment and general government. His district represents all of Seminole and a portion of north Orange County.