Anuvia going offline temporarily
The City of Apopka has ordered Zellwood-based Anuvia Plant Nutrients to immediately stop discharging effluent to the City’s wastewater collection system.
The letter to Anuvia from the City dated today reads, in part:
“The City’s Water Reclamation Facility has reached a critical point that it is in jeopardy of major violations of its DEP Operating Permit. As a result, in accordance with Part VI, Sections 13G) and 13(0) of the Anuvia Florida LLC Wastewater Discharge Permit, it is necessary for Anuvia Florida LLC to cease discharge of its process effluent to the City’s wastewater collection system immediately and until such time the process effluent can meet the requirements contained in the permit. This process effluent can be hauled to a facility that is capable of proper treatment of the high organic content contained in it. The sanitary effluent from the administrative buildings can still be discharged to the City’s wastewater collection system.”
The Cease Discharge order comes less than a week after the City Council voted to spend $63,400 to have approximately 1,200 cubic yards of “excess” biosolids removed over the course of the next 12 weeks. Prior to and after that vote, members of the Council made it clear they expected Anuvia to absorb some portion of the cost.
The letter came as a surprise to Anuvia CEO Amy Yoder.
“It’s unfortunate the city decided to issue this less than one business day after providing a proposed permit and without any warning,” she said. “As the letter is quite ambiguous, we are working through exactly what that means for us. But, we designed this facility and invested $100 million based on levels the city mistakenly thought they could handle. They have had three years and have been paid more than $1 million to ensure they could process our water. Obviously, that did not happen and now we feel we are being punished for their internal issues.”
Yoder said Anuvia was given no warning or any attempt to help the city with their wastewater facility issues, therefore they are in the process of taking their facility temporarily offline until a solution is developed with or without the city’s facility. As for the new permit, or a renewed business relationship with the City, that is now unknown.
“We have asked to meet with the city, their staff, and their consultants,” Yoder said. “As of yet, they have not agreed to that meeting. However, the parameters the city proposed are impossible to meet quickly. They are significantly lower than what was suggested in the Woodard & Curran report and I believe we will need to adjust those levels if we are to continue doing business with the City of Apopka.”
Annuvia’s current discharge permit expires today. Annuvia received a proposed renewal permit from the City last Friday, March 3rd.
The City staff, through Public Information Officer Robert Sargent, issued this statement:
“We as staff view this is an unfortunate set of circumstances, but ordering Anuvia to discontinue sending discharge to the City’s wastewater system is unavoidable. As we have made clear for weeks, the City has been working with the company for quite some time to avoid this decision, but it is no longer an option and should not be a surprise to Anuvia. Elements of Anuvia’s waste exceed the plant’s capacity. Allowing them to continue would put the City in violation of DEP regulations. We appreciate their investment in northwest Orange County and hope to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”