DEP's Northwest District Clarifier Wastewater Newsletter

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May 2021

EzDMR Comments Section Tool

One of the most helpful ways to communicate additional information to DEP for exceedances or violations reported on your facility DMR (in accordance with Rule 62-620.610) is by providing the information in the comment section of the EzDMR template. If an exceedance is reported, DEP staff will check the comments section to see why the violation occurred and how the facility plans to remedy the issue. If the comments provided give a detailed explanation of what happened and what actions the facility took to return to compliance, our staff may be able to determine that no further action is needed. If there are no comments or the comments lack detail, our staff may reach out for more information to determine if the facility has returned to compliance and if further action is needed.

General Permit condition found in 62-620.610 (21), FAC, states permittees shall report all instances of noncompliance not reported under subsection (17), (18) or (19), of this permit at the time monitoring reports are submitted. This report shall contain the same information required by subsection (20) of this permit

Subsection(20) requires the following:
      •   A description of the noncompliance and its
      •   The period of noncompliance including exact
          dates and time;
      •   If the noncompliance has not been corrected,
          the anticipated time it is expected to continue;
      •   Steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate,
           and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance.

To enter comments in EzDMR:
      •   You will need to have the "Preparer Role or
          Certifier Role" to be able to add comments.
      •   Click on the bubble to open a comments box.
      •   When finished, click Done to close the box or
          click Clear to delete any comments.
      •   To see the comments in a PDF format, click
          Preview PDF on the DMRs Due screen.
      •   Any comments provided are located on the last
          page of the monitoring group.

The EzDMR User's Guide provides helpful step-by-step instructions on how to use the EzDMR template.

NWD's Leadership Team Update

E. Orr

Congratulations to Elizabeth Orr for being promoted as the new director of the Northwest District.

Prior to being promoted to district director, Elizabeth served as the district’s assistant director for five years and was responsible for overseeing the district's compliance assurance program. She also has served as administrator for the district’s permitting program.

Erin R.

Please help us welcome our new assistant district director, Erin Rasnake, who will oversee the compliance assurance program.

Erin is a Florida native and has been with the department since 2006. Prior to this promotion, Erin was the permitting program administrator in DEP's Central District.

Electronic Sanitary Sewer Overflow Reporting Tool


DEP has made sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) reporting more user-friendly for regulated facilities. The submission is available in the DEP Business Portal, and instructions on reporting through the Business Portal are available at DEP Business Portal Sanitary Sewer Overflow Reporting Tool.

Users can choose to have the system automatically use the entered information to generate a Public Notice of Pollution. However, reporting the spill information through the DEP Business Portal does not cancel the requirement of reporting the spill to the State Watch Office or the district office or delegated local program if it meets the conditions in the reminder below.

Five-day reports may be submitted as an attachment or the information provided in the electronic form. To be considered complete, a five-day report must include a description of the spill; release or abnormal event and its cause; the duration including exact dates and time, and, if it has not been corrected, the anticipated time the spill is expected to continue; and steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate and prevent recurrence.

Please contact the NWD Wastewater Compliance Section by email or at 850-595-8300 if you have any questions. For technical assistance, please call DEP's Office of Technology and Information Services at 850-245-7555.

Reminder: Wastewater incidents, including SSOs, can pose a threat to the environment and public health. Immediate notification and appropriate response are essential factors for minimizing the impact from wastewater incidents. SSOs of 1,000 gallons or greater or which may threaten the environment or public health, must be reported as soon as practical but no later than 24 hours after discovery by a utility to DEP through a toll-free, 24-hour hotline known as the State Watch Office at 800-320-0519 (Reference Chapters 62-604 and 62-620, F.A.C.). The public also is encouraged to report any suspected wastewater incidents to the toll-free number. Please note that utilities experiencing an SSO less than 1,000 gallons are only required to report such incident to DEP by notifying the utilities appropriate district office.

EPA's Technical Assistance
Webinar Series

epa webinar

The Office of Compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering a free webinar on May 27, 2021, as part of EPA’s ongoing Technical Assistance Webinar Series: Improving CWA-NPDES Permit Compliance at Small Wastewater Treatment Systems. This series is geared toward plant owners and operators of smaller systems with flow of less than 1 million gallons per day. Others include WWTP owners and operators; municipal leaders; NPDES technical assistance providers; permit writers; and compliance staff from state, local, tribal and federal governments.

View more information about the webinar.

Please contact Laura Paradise with EPA at 202-564-0615 with any questions.

State of Florida Holiday
Office Closures for 2021

May 31 - Memorial Day
July 5 - Independence Day (observed)
Sept. 6 - Labor Day
Nov. 11 - Veterans Day
Nov. 25 - 26 - Thanksgiving
Dec. 24 - Christmas (observed)

Please Welcome Our Newest Wastewater Team Members!

While some have been with us for a bit of time now, we'd like to introduce you to our team members who have joined since our last issue of the Clarifier Wastewater Newsletter.

Maria Bertelli

Maria Bertelli
Maria joined the wastewater permitting team as a engineering specialist in March 2021.


Kylie Decker
Kylie joined the wastewater compliance assurance team as an environmental specialist in March 2021.

John Dixon

John Dixon
John joined the wastewater compliance assurance team as an environmental specialist in March 2021.

Jessie Massey

Jessie Massey
Jessie joined the wastewater compliance assurance team as an environmental specialist in March 2021.

Nolan Moss

Nolan Moss
Nolan joined the wastewater compliance assurance team as an environmental specialist in May 2021.

Jenna Throckmorton

Jenna Throckmorton
Jenna joined the wastewater compliance assurance team as an environmental specialist in March 2021.

Emergency Final Order Due to the Effects of Covid-19 has Been Terminated

The Emergency Final Order due to the effects of Covid-19 was terminated on May 17, 2021. You can view the order terminating emergency final order online.

Free Cybersecurity Assessment and Technical Assistance Provided by U.S. EPA

In concert with the EPA, the Horsley Witten Group Inc. is providing free onsite cybersecurity assessments and technical assistance to interested drinking water and wastewater utilities. The focus of this project is on smaller and rural utilities that are resource limited in their capability to address cybersecurity threats. The results of your assessment are strictly confidential and are not individually reported to EPA or any state regulatory agency. The technical assistance includes helping you develop a cyber action plan for your utility to mitigate any vulnerabilities noted during the assessment.

This technical assistance is being offered virtually. Please register if your utility is interested in conducting an assessment and learning more about reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

If you have questions, please contact Gemma Kite with Horsley Whitten Group at 508-833-6600.

FlaWARN WATER Tracker Demonstration


FlaWARN is offering WATER Tracker demonstrations. Utilities can register for one of the two remaining FlaWARN meetings that are being offered. Each meeting will cover an introduction to FlaWARN and overview of WATER Tracker.
The third topic will vary for each meeting.

Hurricane Season is Approaching - Update Your Wastewater Treatment Facility Emergency Operation Plans

With hurricane season beginning June 1, now is a good time to update your WWTP Emergency Operation Plans (EOP). The EOP addresses larger events such as hurricanes, flooding or significant power outages. The EOP should build on the Spill Response and Emergency Operation Plan (SORP) and include the following components:

  1. Numbers and type of portable or fixed generators; bypass pumps; vacuum trucks; transport vehicles; personnel; and quantities of fuel to be kept in readiness for emergencies; plus how items will be mobilized and deployed to keep pump stations and wastewater treatment and disposal operating during a significant power outage event.
  2. What outside resources, such as contractors, Mutual Aid Agreements or FlaWARN, may be called upon when needed; how the request for assistance is handled; what documentation is necessary as work proceeds; and how the outside assistance will be supervised, accounted for, and coordinated with respondent’s own equipment and personnel.
  3. A public education campaign with three components: a. Outreach to customers via social media and other means prior to hurricane season addressing sanitary sewer overflow prevention through maintenance of service connections and grease traps, not opening cleanouts or manholes, and preventing blockages; b. Outreach as a predicted event approaches (e.g., hurricane) addressing what customers should do or should avoid to prevent or be prepared for sanitary sewer overflows, and how customers can get information regarding their system before the storm; c. Outreach after the event addressing how to deal with backups and floodwaters, proper cleanup, health precautions, and how to get information about the sewer system’s status or to report problems.
helpful links

Information Portal
Northwest District Website
Northwest District Contacts
Notification/Application for Constructing a Domestic Wastewater Collection/Transmission System (Notification/Application)
Operator Certification
Preventing SSOs Fact Sheet
- Quality Assurance SOPs
Request for Approval to Place a Domestic Wastewater Collection/Transmission System into Operation (clearance)
- SSO Fact Sheet 
- Wastewater Rules

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