Court Dismisses Grinder Pump Case Against Monroe County and Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

KEY WEST, FL – Acting Circuit Judge Mark Wilson dismissed a lawsuit over the placement of sewer technology in resident’s yards in the Lower Keys. On Dec. 17, the Court dismissed the latest challenge, brought earlier this year by a group of property owners against Monroe County and Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority.

The property owner’s case claimed the defendants did not follow the County’s ordinance’s standards for wastewater connections. In April 2019, the County substantially revised its ordinance to clarify the wording. The Court found that the plaintiff’s claims regarding the old ordinance were moot. The Court dismissed the case and concluded there was no pending controversy because the prior ordinance had been repealed and replaced.

This is the second time a grinder pump claim has been dismissed. A prior suit was dismissed earlier this year.

“The majority of property owners have already hooked up to the Cudjoe wastewater system, which is significant to improving the Florida Keys environment and nearshore waters,” said Cynthia Hall, Assistant Monroe County Attorney. “This court order is a step forward for those who have not yet abandoned their septic tanks to connect to the sewer system. We hope and expect this will encourage the remaining homeowners to connect to the system.”

The Cudjoe Regional system serves from Mile Marker 17 on Sugarloaf Key to Mile Marker 33 on Big Pine Key in unincorporated Monroe County. As of December 2019, about 77 percent of the 7,500 homes and business have hooked into the system.

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