Septic Systems and Springs Water Quality: An Overview for Florida

Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Photo taken 01-08-20.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Wastewater carries pathogens, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and trace organic chemicals that may be harmful to human health and ecosystem functioning. Thus, proper treatment of wastewater is crucial. While septic systems can be one means of effective wastewater treatment, there are some special considerations for their use in Florida because of unique geography and sandy soils. The purpose of this new 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences is to explain the basics of how septic systems work and how they can affect springs water quality in Florida, with a special emphasis on potential N loading from septic systems. This document is intended for homeowners, the general public, and county, city, and other local personnel tasked with managing water quality in areas with septic systems. Written by Mary Lusk, Andrea Albertin, Whitney Elmore, William Lester, and James Moll.

Xylella fastidiosa and Olive Quick Decline: Symptoms and Identification of an Insect Vectored Pathogen

A healthy Arbequina olive grove in Volusia County, Florida.

A plant disease called Olive Quick Decline is killing olive trees throughout southern Italy. Although the pathogen that causes the disease is not known in Florida, it may spread to the state, which means that olive producers and homeowners with olives must watch for symptoms of the disease as well as for the leafhopper insects that spread it. This 3-page fact sheet written by Whitney Elmore and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman and published by the Department of Entomology and Nematology explains how to monitor for the disease and its insect vectors and offers advice and assistance for commercial and hobby olive growers.