BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — By state mandate, all Bay County residents connected to the area’s potable water system will now need an updated backflow prevention device.
At Tuesday’s commission meeting, Chairman Griff Griffitts said they’ve held off on the mandate for as long as possible, but that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is now requiring 100 percent compliance within the next five years.
The above-ground devices are being required in every municipality, and must be inspected every two years.
They’re meant to prevent the county’s water system from being contaminated by potential customer backflow.
Griffitts said he disagrees with the mandated approach.
“I just feel like it’s an overreach of government from the state,” he said. “We’re the only state in the union that has this rule. I understand their mandates, I understand they’re trying to protect our drinking water and that sort of thing, this is simply an undue burden we’re putting on our residents mandated by the state.”
County leaders said they are working on a plan to help residents with payment relief for the devices, allowing them to pay in installments with their water bills.