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Wastewater Disposal and Treatment

There are a variety of ways wastewater is disposed of in Miami-Dade County.

A sanitary sewer system relies on underground pipes and aboveground facilities to transport wastewater to treatment plants. A septic tank system serves as an on-site wastewater treatment system in places where public sewers are not available.

Pump, or lift, stations lift wastewater from a lower to a higher elevation.

Image of wastewater treatment process.

  • Sanitary Sewer System

    A sanitary sewer system is the network of pipes running underground and other facilities, such as pump stations, that collect and transport the wastewater from the houses to the wastewater treatment plants. At the treatment plant, the wastewater is processed (treated) before being returned to the environment.

    The sanitary sewer system could be either public or private. Sanitary sewers on the public right-of-way and maintained by the local utility are considered public sanitary sewer systems. If the sanitary sewer systems are within private properties, they are normally considered private. Within Miami-Dade County there are approximately 730 facilities with private pump stations and approximately 1,420 public pump stations currently in operation.

  • Septic Tanks

    A septic tank system serves as an on-site wastewater treatment system in places where public sewers are not available. One-third of all Florida homes, about 1.6 million households, use septic tanks.

    Miami-Dade County regulates septage haulers. Call Industrial Facilities at 305-372-6600 for an updated list of permitted haulers.

    Additionally, the Florida Department of Health regulates the construction, modification and operation of all septic tanks. Call the Department of Health at 305-623-3500 for more information

  • Pump (Lift) Stations

    A pump station is used to lift or raise wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher elevation.

    Failures of the pumps stations can cause significant impact on the environment as raw wastewater can be discharged into lakes, streams or rivers.

  • Wastewater Treatment

    Sewage or wastewater treatment plant effluents normally discharge into a stream, lake, ocean or another body of water. In Miami-Dade County, discharge goes to an ocean outfall, deep well injection and underground irrigation.

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