Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove businesses can seek water hookup permits

A 15-month moratorium on permits for businesses that require water hookups in Coconut Grove ended this week, paving the way for some shop owners to finally get the bathrooms and sinks they need running in order to open their businesses.

Miami-Dade County determined that Pump Station No. 9, at 2202 S.W. 26th St., which feeds Coconut Grove, had reached capacity in August 2012, and put a halt to water hookups for new businesses or businesses that wanted additions but needed sewage outflow to build. The $1 million project to fix the pump station was supposed to take 18 months.

Elected and business leaders said the sewage issue would have a direct economic impact on the area, though they couldn’t come up with a figure.

The problem with the Coconut Grove pump station — dozens of stations across the county suffer from the same issue — stemmed from the county’s decades-old sewer system with crumbling pipes and water treatment plants desperately in need of replacement and renovation.

The county was sued by the U.S. Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for not abiding by the federal Clean Water Act. The sides have since reached a settlement, with the county agreeing to $1.6 billion in fixes.

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