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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Water Quality Research

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  •  850-595-6700



    Mailing Address

    Downtown Service Center, 1300 West Gregory Street, Pensacola, FL 32502 




In August of 1999, the Environmental Analysis Program (EAP) was initiated within the Environmental Health Division.  

Escambia County Ordinance Chapter 98 Article III  (70.8kb; pdf),requires further regulation of Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems. Many failing and substandard septic tanks have been replaced as a result of this program. As of April 27, 2012, House Bill 1263 became a law and prohibits the requirement for an evaluation of a septic system at the point of sale.

Another requirement of the ordinance is enforcement of public sewer connection where sewer is deemed available.  This is particularly important in low-lying areas of Escambia County, where septic tanks, in many cases, are close in proximity to the drinking water table, and surface water.  In cases such as this, untreated sewage from septic tanks can contaminate these water ways and ultimately affect public health through bathing and recreation exposure. Septic tanks and Sewage
The water sampling portion of this program involved taking water samples in Bayou Grande, Bayou Chico and Bayou Texar to be analyzed for fecal bacteria.  Fecal coliform and Enterococci are both enteric bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. If they are present in high concentrations in recreational waters and are ingested while swimming or enter the skin through a cut or sore, they may cause human disease, infections or rashes.

Take a look at the Bayou Report(15kb; pdf) for a compilation of our research efforts through cooperation with the University of West Florida.