HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The stench is just foul. 8 On Your Side learned of the dumping of human waste solids in Hernando County, now we’ve confirmed the Florida company responsible for the dumping is spreading sewage to several smelly sites.
What a disgusting dilemma for Regina and Charlie Hall. Dozens of loads of sewage were dumped in a field across from their restaurant on U.S. 301 just south of state road 50 in Ridge Manor.
Every one of those loads is in violation of state environmental laws.
“The smell would just make you sick,” Charlie told us.
It was at times overwhelming. “The smell is putrid, it’s terrible, it’s nauseating,” said Regina.
According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southwaste-Central Florida Disposal was not permitted to dump load after load of sewage solids on a pasture across from Regina and Charlie’s restaurant.
State records obtained by 8 On Your Side show why the Halls needed to hold their noses. Between June 30 and July 26, Southwaste dumped 46 loads there.
8 On Your Side first exposed this putrid problem in August. We went to Southwaste’s office in Groveland seeking a statement. The manager there refused to comment or even provide his name.
Now we’ve confirmed the dumping dilemma runs further.
State records show Southwaste illegally deposited the sludge on three other tracts of land, all in Lake County. Records show it dropped 11 loads on some land in Groveland, 34 loads in one Clermont pasture off Oil Well Road, and 96 on another Clermont piece of land.
None of the dumps were permitted.
8 On Your side called the company’s office in Houston for some answers. It provided none.
“My husband and I are very concerned about what we’ve been bit by, what have we been breathing,” said Regina.
The state says not to worry. As long as humans don’t go on the land for a year, and cows don’t graze near it for 30 days, everything will be fine. Based on photos that show cows grazing near and standing in the sewage, things are not so fine for the cows.
Regina Hall disputes the accuracy of the delivery tickets in the state’s possession. She insists the dumping started in mid-June, across from her and there were days when up to seven loads were dumped on that pasture. The records obtained by 8 On Your Side do not reflect that.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection confirms Southwaste dumped without the required permits, and is evaluating enforcement action.