Hillsborough family opposes plan to dump human waste on property behind their home

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Glenn Patterson’s family once owned more than 600 acres of land in southern Hillsborough County. Four generations of his family worked the land, until a few years ago.

His mother sold 80 acres of land to a farmer, on the condition that she and her two sisters could maintain homes on the property and live there until they die.

Recently, one of the new owners told her they had a plan for “organic farming.”

“They apparently told her a flat out lie,” said Patterson.

Chris’s Plumbing in Riverview is seeking permits to dump up to 50,000 gallons of human waste on the land.

“There is no way you could live next to that,” said Patterson. His mother and aunts maintain wells on the property.

“There’s three drinking wells, one at each homestead,” said Patterson.

If the plan to spread partially treated human waste on the land moves forward, Patterson worries the well water will not be drinkable. “I wouldn’t even want to bath in it,” said Patterson.

The back portion of the property is also wetlands that drains into a creek that flows into the Little Manatee River. Patterson and others believe the human waste will also flow into the pristine river.

“It’s going to seep into the ecosystem. It’s going to get into the rivers. It’s going to keep right on going. The other thing is, this is land we grew up on and we worked as a family,” said Patterson.

A spokesman for Chris’s Plumbing said Wednesday his client is reworking the permit and the revised application will address the major concerns.

The Hillsborough County Commission does not have a direct vote on the permit, but they are working on a new ordinance that would prevent the dumping of human waste onto land in the county.

There are currently four waste water treatment plants in the county that can process the waste from Chris’s Plumbing, but the process is more costly for the business.

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