It just don’t seem too smart for the Monroe County Commission, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’s Board, Florida State House of Representatives Holly Raschein and Florida Governor Rick Scott to piss off Mother Nature, God and a United States District Judge because of how they went about sewering the lower Florida Keys

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From: Bgprevatt@__________ [Banks Prevatt, of Little Torch Key, forward to the Monroe County commissioners and the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority board members]

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2014 17:02:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Grinder Pumps

Thanks, Bobby, I keep hearing from the officials about how they talked to the experts and this is an excellent “robust” system.

I see you included your phone number. I will be curious to learn how many of these same officials call you for yet one more expert opinion.


Blind copy to 100+

In a message dated 1/3/2014 3:00:11 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, robertmnewton@_________ writes:

Dear Commissioners:

After renting homes in the Key’s for 30 years for vacations, last year we finally got to buy our little piece of Paradise. Now we are caught up in the Key’s sewer project. We agree that a properly functioning sewer system is something that is past due. Having said that, it is to our dismay that Grinder Pumps are being considered for a part of the planned sewer system. We have been informed that in our subdivision, our street is set to have the pumps because this street only has homes on one side and it is cheaper for FKAA and the county to use the pumps over gravity. Having sold pumps for over 30 years in my working days, I can tell you that we made money on the sale of pumps, BUT we made a lot more on our service and parts department repairing them. Pumps of all kinds require repair from time to time and these Grinder Pumps will be no exception. In fact, the application that these units are being used for are going to be a maintenance problem. A large portion of the residences in our subdivision are part timers and when these folks come back to a home with a Grinder Pump after several months of not being used, they are going to have seal problems at the least with more serious problems being the norm.
All of the potential problems of using these Grinder Pumps has been brought to your attention by concerned citizens such as myself, and I urge you to use all of the data presented to you to make an informed decision. We can plainly see the future problems if these pumps are used, and I know you can, also. Sometimes it is difficult to backtrack on a plan, but to avoid a future disaster by using these pumps, you should do everything in your power to get it right now and avoid what is surely going to happen if these pumps are used.

Robert M. “Bobby” Newton
845 Pirates Road
Little Torch Key, FL 33042

I replied:

To: bgprevatt@________; robertmnewton@________;;;;;
Subject: RE: Grinder Pumps
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2014 08:08:01 -0500


I wonder how many of the county commissioners and FKAA officials read, or will read, this forward? I wonder if they now are automatically deleting anything they receive from the anti-grinder pump camp? I wonder, if they are doing that, how they might try to explain that to a state or a federal court judge, if a lawsuit is filed to stop them from using what sure looks to me like the worst possible sewer system plan for the lower Florida Keys environment, and for FKAA, Monroe County, the property owners and the taxpayers’ pocketbooks.

I heard at yesterday’s anti-grinder pump steering committee meeting that FKAA seems to have ordered stop work on installing gravity systems and full speed ahead work on installing grinder pump systems, even though the grinder pumps will sit in the ground for two years unused before they go on line. I heard this is being done to make it hard, if not impossible, for a court to rule against FKAA and Monroe County, if a lawsuit is filed by the anti-grinder pump camp.

After what I heard at yesterday’s steering committee meeting, I lamely tardily concluded, and told Banks, it looks to me the lawsuit should be filed in federal court, because what really is at risk to the current sewering of the lower Keys is Mother Nature, more specifically, the water quality and the reef, which is a federal issue in a federal wildlife sanctuary and preserve.

I told Banks, from what I have seen from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, they cannot be counted on to do what state law and their own regulations require them to do. I said, a lawsuit filed in state court risks ending up with a judge half on the take, fully on the take, or at the very best worried about getting reelected. Whereas, a lawsuit filed in federal court gets a judge who is appointed for life and could care less about Keys politics. A federal judge would only be interested in enforcing federal laws and regulations, and any state laws and regulations pendant to federal law.

Well, putting that fun talk aside, I wonder how God might view county and waterboard officials not reading emails they receive from anti-grinder camp people? I wonder how God might view State Rep Holly Raschein

Holly Raschein 2

not breaking her pretty little neck, now that she is fully apprised of this crappy situation down here, trying to persuade Governor Rick Scott

Rick Scott

to tell his five FKAA Board appointees to stop installing the worst possible sewer plan in the lower Keys, if they wish to remain on FKAA’s Board. I wonder how God might view Governor Scott not doing that, after God gave Governor Scott the Florida Keys to look after while he was Governor, which position God also allowed Governor Scott to have for a while?

I dunno, if I were a county commissioner, waterboard official, Holly or Governor Scott, I would not even want to piss off Mother Nature,

Mother Nature

wild queen conch

even if God was not a factor, even if I wasn’t going to have to explain my actions to a United States District Judge.


There is a different post at, which you should be able to reach by clicking on that link today, and by clicking on this link at any time:

Ring the bells that can still ring. Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in, Key West, America, humanity …

Sloan at Coco's

Just after this post was published, this forward came in from Banks:

Banks, Tami
 Good job on getting the Keynoter article-  I did not get the paper yesterday and perhaps it was not in yet?
 I do not do Facebook or other tweety things so cannot do  what I am suggesting here.
 They ask for comments via Facebook.

At  any rate,   :
I would like to suggest that you send out a quick note to all of us asking for as many Facebook comments  ASAP  on that story at that website
keep the heat on
Thanks for all your efforts

County tries to settle, once and for all, debate over what kind of sewer system goes in the Lower Keys


kwadlow@keynoter.comJanuary 4, 2014

This a grinder pump, which many residents of the Lower Keys don’t want used in the new sewer system.


An effort to resolve the ongoing gravity vs. grinder pumps in the wastewater system for the Lower Keys will be made during a special Jan. 31 meeting of the Monroe County Commission.

Pressured by residents within the Cudjoe Regional service area to add more gravity-system connections, commissioners asked project managers with the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority to provide cost estimates of new designs.

“Our staff is working to give the commission a range of costs, and some idea of the magnitude of expanding the gravity system,” FKAA Deputy Executive Director Kerry Shelby said Friday. “There’s nothing final yet.”

Originally, plans drawn by the FKAA and approved by the County Commission in 2009 projected about 2,800 sewer connections in the Lower Keys — nearly a third of about 9,000 the connections in the Cudjoe Regional system — would be with grinder pumps.

Grinder pumps require an underground holding tank with an electrically powered device that grinds waste in the tank and feeds it into the system.

Gravity systems require no pumps or tanks, and have lower maintenance. However, gravity systems are more costly to install, especially in remote areas.

In October, Lower Keys residents persuaded commissioners to change 1,152 units on Big Pine Key, Cudjoe Key and Sugarloaf Key from grinders to gravity at an estimated additional cost of $10 million. That raised the price of the Cudjoe Regional system to $158 million.

“That still leaves about 1,600 out there” possibly eligible for a gravity system, said Summerland Key resident Banks Prevatt, a gravity advocate.

“There are some areas where it will probably be impossible to service with gravity,” countered Shelby.

Walter Drabinski, a Lower Keys engineer, founded the Isaac Newton Coalition to fight for more gravity systems.

“When this design was put in place in 2009, they were looking at the cheapest thing they could do to come into compliance” with state law mandating a countywide wastewater system, Drabinski said Friday.

“Now we’re seeing there are good reasons to go with gravity,” Drabinski said. “But rather than go with the optimum system, [county and FKAA engineers] are saying we should go with the plans we’ve got.”

After the commission’s October action, other Lower Keys residents circulated petitions seeking gravity connections.

Gravity advocates contend the grinder pumps, which require property owners to install high-power electric connections, will be useless in the event of extended electrical outages.

“Those tanks hold about a day’s worth of sewage,” Prevatt said. “After two or three days, you’ve got a problem. Either it’s backing up into the house or running onto the ground.”

Gravity advocates point to areas of New York and New Jersey that suffered significant flooding damage that destroyed grinder-pump systems.

“Putting a plastic cover on these doesn’t make them hurricane-proof,” Drabinski said.

The Jan. 31 meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the Harvey Government Center in Key West.

Finishing the Cudjoe Regional system is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. Completion of the system’s main water-treatment plant, on Cudjoe Key’s Blimp Road off mile marker 21.6, is proceeding rapidly, Shelby said.

About Sloan

That's what this website is about, also and If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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