Beverly Hills (West) Septic Tank Phase Out Project

Estimated Dates & Work Schedule

Anticipated Start Date: 2021-06-30
Anticipated End Date: 2023-11-30

Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In some circumstances, evening and weekend work may be necessary. The contractor will not work on most City of Jacksonville/JEA scheduled holidays. 

Project Objective

In partnership with the City of Jacksonville, JEA recently installed new sanitary sewer lines in the Beverly Hills West neighborhood. The intent of this program is to improve the quality of life in your area and to help reduce the amount of harmful nutrients that can often find their way into the St. Johns River and other local waterways.

This program, jointly funded by the City of Jacksonville (COJ) and JEA, involves the installation of new sewer infrastructure in the City’s rights-of-way and easements, proper abandonment of existing septic system(s) on private property, installation of new sewer lines on private property, connection to the sewer system and payment of all associated permits and fees at no cost to the property owner.

JEA also replaced and upgraded the existing water system in the COJ right-of-way (not private property) while the new sewer system was installed. Unimproved properties (properties without a structure) or without a septic tank at the time of project design will have a sewer service installed in the right-of-way for future connection at the property owner’s expense. Eligible property owners must complete a Temporary Construction Easement (TCE) form allowing JEA and our contractor to perform work on private property to abandon the septic tank(s) and connect the home or business to the new JEA sewer lines.

JEA managed construction of the project, and will operate and maintain the water and sewer systems following installation. The JEA account holder is responsible for the monthly sewer bill once connection has been made. 

Note: Only one water/sewer connection per parcel is included in this project (parcels are identified with a unique Real Estate number assigned by the Duval County Property Appraiser). Unimproved properties (properties with their own individual Real Estate number and without a structure at the time of project construction) or without a septic tank will have a water and sewer service (stub out) installed in the right-of-way for future connection at the property owner’s expense. 

Construction Conditions

Construction on the main JEA water and sewer lines were completed in City of Jacksonville rights-of-ways and easements. Roads had limited access while the new sewer and water infrastructure was installed. Sections of driveways, curbs, and sidewalks in the City of Jacksonville right-of-way were removed were replaced to City of Jacksonville standards following installation of the new lines.  

Overall Project Boundary Map

The proposed project boundary map shown below depicts a preliminary design model only and is highly subject to change. The parcels depicted on this map may or may be included in the final proposed project area.

BHW Final

Restoration of the Project Area

Restoration of the project area was completed after the new sewer and water lines were installed, tested and cleared for use. Upon completion of the project, any areas disturbed by construction was returned to their pre-construction condition.

Pre-Construction Public Meeting - May 27th

City Council Member Ju’Coby Pittman, the City of Jacksonville and JEA held a pre-construction kick-off meeting at the Jean Ribault High School Auditorium, 3701 Winton Drive on Thursday, May 27, 2021 @ 6:30 p.m. to discuss plans for the Beverly Hills West Septic Tank Phase Out Project. The meeting provided the opportunity to learn more about the project and what residents can expect during construction. There will be a brief presentation followed by time for questions, answers and public comment.

View the meeting presentation Beverly Hills West Pre-Construction Meeting Presentation.

Pre-Construction Public Meeting Q&A

Q) When the home is disconnected from the septic tank, what happens to the septic tank?
A) Once the home is connected to the new JEA sewer line, the septic tank is abandoned in place and is not physically removed. This process consists of removing the contents of the tank, punching holes in the bottom of the tank, filling the tank with clean sand and sodding/seeding the disturbed area. This is the standard method for septic tank abandonment, approved by the Florida Department of Health and permitted by the Duval County Health Department. 

Q) Is this work being completed at no cost to the property owner?
A) Yes. This program, jointly funded by the City of Jacksonville and JEA, will involve the full installation of sewer pipes, proper abandonment of existing septic system(s), connection to the new JEA sewer system and payment of all associated permits and fees at no cost to the property owner. Once connected to the sewer system, property owners would only be required to pay a monthly JEA sewer bill (in addition to their monthly JEA electric and water bill). 

Q)Will the property owner or tenant need to be home when work is being completed on private property?
A) The Temporary Construction Easement (TCE) document completed by each property owner participating in this project provides JEA and our contractors permission to access private property to complete our work. This agreement ends once this project is completed.

As long as our contractors can access the property, it is not necessary for anyone to be home during construction. We will notify property owners and residents ahead of time, and we will be glad to coordinate a date/time with the property owner or tenant if requested.  

Q) Will curbing be added to help with drainage? 
A) No drainage or new curbing will be added as part of this project. Any existing curbing that may be in the project area would only be replaced if damaged during the project.

Q) There is an orange line painted across my driveway. Does this mean they will cut across the driveway?
A) The orange line means that there is a communication line running beneath the driveway, and there is a very good possibility we will be digging there. The marking is there to ensure our contractor does not hit the line when digging begins. 

Q) Will everyone be connected to the new JEA sewer line at once?
A) No. The connections are usually done in phases, one street or section at a time as we complete the pipe installations and the lines are cleared for use.  

Q) What type of service will vacant lots receive?
A) For vacant or unimproved lots (properties where there is no structure), a sewer service stub-out will be left in the COJ right-of-way in front of the property for future connection. Any future connection would be at the property owner’s expense.

Q) Will drain field and piping be removed? Isn’t there bacteria left over in the drain field pipes? 
A) Just like the septic tank, the drain field is not removed as part of this project. Additionally, all waste is removed from the septic tank, preventing discharge into the drain field. 

Q) What about mailboxes and shrubs? Will those be replaced if damaged?
A) We will restore the area to pre-construction conditions (in some cases better). However, please be advised that we will not place anything on top of a water or sewer line. 

Additionally, our contractor will take photos and video of the project area. If you have something located in the right-of-way that is irreplaceable (such as a favorite plant, tree, etc.), please make plans now to relocate the item.

While we will do our best to restore the area to pre-construction conditions, some items (such as a generational plant) simply cannot be replaced.  

Q) What happens if the pump station floods? Would there be sewer back-ups in homes?
A) JEA pump stations are built to withstand flooding conditions. If the station loses power, we will have a generator and a back-up pump. If that pump fails, we have a pony pump that will engage until we can get to the station to pump it down.  

Q) Will there be a back-flow preventer on the pump station?
A) Backflow preventers are intended for water lines, and not sewer pump station. As mentioned above, we have a generator and two pumps. So if one pump fails, the other kicks in. We also monitor the station remotely. We should never lose the ability to pump sewage out.  

Q) Will future maintenance be required of the new sewer system?
A) JEA monitors the levels at the pump station at least three (3) times a day (this is done remotely, using radio waves). Crews also perform monthly routine maintenance on site. Pump station pumps are typically replaced every 3-5 years.

JEA is responsible for maintaining the sewer system starting at the COJ right-of-way. Work done on private property is warrantied for a period of one (1) year (typical with plumbing work). After that time, any issues that occur on the private side are the property owner’s responsibility.

IMPORTANT: If you experience a sewer issue, please call JEA first to report it before calling a plumber. JEA will send a technician to investigate. If the issue is on the JEA side, we will make the necessary repairs. If the issue is on the private side, we’ll let you know so that you can contact a plumber.

Q) Will everyone be connected to the new sewer line at the same time?
A) No. Once the pump station (considered the “heart” of the system) is constructed and the main sewer lines have been installed, we will begin work on private property to connect homes to the new sewer system. This will be accomplished in four (4) major phases, likely one street or section at a time. This way everyone does not have to wait until the end of the project to be connected.

Q) The storm drains keep getting clogged.
A) Please contact the City of Jacksonville at 630-CITY and COJ Public Works will investigate.

Q) Will there be any contingency for homes that shift during the dewatering process? 
A) Dewatering is required by OSHA, and is done strictly for the safety of employees who perform excavations. The ground water is removed from the excavation site and discharged into storm drains. Pre-construction video is taken and conditions are continually monitored to ensure shifting does not occur. 

In contrast to what the term dewatering implies, dewatering actually prevents settling of the ground. Taking water out of the ground and bringing down the water table actually consolidates the soil, therefore protecting property, people and equipment.  

Q) Who is the contractor?
A) J.B. Coxwell Contracting, Inc., a locally owned, locally managed company.  

Q) How many African American individuals does J.B. Coxwell employ?
A) J.B. Coxwell is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EEO). 20% of the project work is allocated to Jacksonville Small and Emerging Businesses (JSEB)