Mar 272015
FKAA Reverses Position on Deep Injection Well

by JD Adler… In a press release dated March 25th, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) announced their decision to request funding from the Monroe County Commission to build a deep injection well at the Cudjoe regional wastewater treatment plant. Their decision was based on a preliminary report from Dr. Briceno of Florida International University who […]

Mar 202015
Cudjoe Shallow Wells Need Deeper Look

by JD Adler… Environmental attorneys Caron Balkany and Christopher Byrd have issued a 60 day notice of intent to sue the government on behalf of local fisherman Mike Laudicina, due to failure to acquire proper review for the shallow well injection of municipal sewage in the Cudjoe Key area. They have issued a press release stating […]

Jan 302015
An Open Letter to US Fish & Wildlife Services Regarding Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant

January 23, 2015 To: Cynthia Dohner, Regional Director, US Fish and Wildlife Services, CC: Ashleigh Blackford, Branch Lead, Planning and Resource Conservation –East,; Nancy Finley, Refuge Manager,; Brian Powell, USFW Biologist,; Larry Williams, State Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office, From: Caron Balkany, Re: Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant […]

Jan 092015
An Open Letter To New DEP Secretary From Dump The Pumps

Dump the Pumps, Inc. P.O. Box 1956 Big Pine Key, FL 33043 January 09, 2015 Jonathan P. Steverson Office of the Secretary Florida Department of Environmental Protection 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 49 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 Dear Mr. Steverson: We are a collection of citizens in the Florida Keys with grave concerns about environmental regulation, or […]

Dec 192014
Clarification: The Challenge to Cudjoe Regional Shallow Injection Well Permit

by Caron Balkany… Concerning your Guest Editorial by Harry Powell: Thank you very much for your guest editorial in The Blue Paper about the problems with shallow sewage wells at Cudjoe Regional. I think it’s really important to make these issues public, so I appreciate very much the time you’ve spent to do that. But […]

Dec 122014
Guest Editorial: Cudjoe Regional Sewer Design / A Look Behind The Curtain

CUDJOE REGIONAL WASTEWATER SYSTEM, WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON? Here is another piece of the puzzle on how the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (CRWS) came to be so very badly designed that those of us who are paying attention actually consider it to be an endangerment to our National Marine Sanctuary, and far from an improvement to […]

GUEST EDITORIAL: The Real Story Behind the Resistance to Deep Well Wastewater Disposal

GUEST EDITORIAL: The Real Story Behind the Resistance to Deep Well Wastewater Disposal

As a member of Dump the Pumps and worrying that the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System [CRWS] is deeply flawed, I have been privy to documents and people associated with the group and some people you might want to call “whistleblowers” who are FKAA employees or contractors. Here’s some of what I have gleaned from these […]



  Last Stand announced on Wednesday that it is strongly opposed to disposal of treated sewage into shallow wells at the as yet unfinished Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. In letters to DEP, FKAA and each Monroe County Commissioner, the Keyswide environmental group cited state regulations, insufficient treatment and danger to sealife as reasons why […]

Guest Column: Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System, a Solution?


For almost a year and a half, I have been arguing that the planned, pressurized wastewater system, using grinder pumps, that is proposed for the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (CRWS) is uneconomic, unreliable, a burden on homeowners, and a potential environmental nightmare.  Now we learn that the shallow injection well design (120’ deep well) at […]



At any other time, it would probably have slipped quietly past us all.  But timing and circumstances were such that members and sympathizers of the grassroots organization Dump the Pumps, Inc. (DTPI) were on high alert, watching for still more sneaky and generally dishonorable Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority […]

Let’s Stop the C.R.A.P.


Most people don’t like algebra and dreaded it in high school. It was difficult solving those equations and most students said we would never use algebra in real life. Well once again we have an equation that seems difficult to solve. The FKAA board was asked by the BOCC at the Dec. meeting to give […]

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda


Does the FKAA  have the authority to say no to the BOCC?  Could the FKAA Board have refused to install the cheaper inferior grinder pumps, because they preferred the better system of gravity for all? Last month there was a gigantic Powerball prize jackpot. I was hoping I would win so I could give the […]

Cudjoe Regional Sewer System Litigation Status


The final approval of changes to the CRWS [Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System] that reflect the reduction of over 1,100 grinder pumps will take place on November 20th when both the BOCC and FKAA BOD will approve a new Inter Local Agreement.  Since the litigation in place required a response prior to that, all four parties, […]

Monroe County Approves Gravity Funding


On Wednesday, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, at it’s monthly meeting, approved two resolutions that provide funding of almost $ 11 million to expand the number of subdivisions getting gravity sewers rather than low pressure grinder pumps.  This change will affect 1,152 of the almost 2,800 EDUs or homes originally slated for grinders. […]

REBUTTAL: HDPE Pipe – A Progressive Step


I read the article that was published by Mr. Walt Drabinski (WB) in the September 6 issue of Key West, The Newspaper. I appreciate the opportunity to have The Newspaper publish a rebuttal to address some of the misinformation that was included in the article about High Density Polyethylene (HDPE).  I selected 6 statements from […]



The Low Pressure section of the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (CRWS) will have over 100 miles of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Pipe, ranging in size from 2” to 8” that will be buried 2’ to 4’ under the surface. It will be under pressures of 15psi to 60psi. The Low Pressure System is asserted to be a low […]

Aqueduct Authority Pushes For More Water In Lieu Of Conservation

Aqueduct Authority Pushes For More Water In Lieu Of Conservation

On May 24, a brief article appeared in the Citizen and created little notice. The story indicated that the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) had commissioned a report from a private consulting firm that was designed to discover if the amount of water we consume has any impact on the Biscayne Aquifer, from which we […]

 June 21, 2013  Posted by on June 21, 2013 Michael Welber, ~ Column ~ Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

GUEST EDITORIAL: Aqueduct Authority Selects High Cost Sewer Option

GUEST EDITORIAL:  Aqueduct Authority Selects High Cost Sewer Option

Given the choice of a system that is a bit more expensive initially, versus one that will cost almost twice as much over its lifetime, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) has chosen the expensive, long term option.  This is an option that every resident in the Florida Keys will pay for through the uniform […]

Water Conservation Efforts Require Decoupling of Rates From Sales Volumes


Editor, Congratulations on your launch of The Blue Paper and thank you for Michael Welber’s article about the water supply implications of the state’s failure to restrain development in the Keys. I’d like to elaborate on one of the fundamental obstacles to reducing demand for utility water and a solution. American’s consumption of water is by […]

What Happens When There’s Not A Drop To Drink?

What Happens When There’s Not A Drop To Drink?

Citing the “delicate balance to be had in the Keys between public safety and property rights,” Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Thursday voted to allow 3,550 new residential units to be built in Monroe over the next decade. That lead paragraph in the Florida Keys Keynoter referred to the governor and cabinet’s […]

 March 22, 2013  Posted by on March 22, 2013 Michael Welber, ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~ Tagged with: ,  No Responses »