Treated wastewater will be piped to 244 acres near Sumterville after Sumter County commissioners Tuesday night approved a special use permit requested by Buffalo Hide and Cattle Co., a firm affiliated with The Villages.
A rapid infiltration basin will be established on the property, which is north of County Road 470 about a half mile east of Interstate 75.
The wastewater will be piped from treatment plants to the site, where it will seep into the soil.
Marty Dzuro, vice president of The Villages Operating Co., said the environment will be protected, including a creek as well as a conservation area and wetlands to the north. State permits will be needed for the operation.
“We can’t pollute the creek,” Dzuro said. “We use this water for irrigation.”
Barbara Marsh, who lives next to the property, said she did not oppose the project as long as environmental concerns are addressed.
“I’d much rather live next to a sewage treatment plant than 500 homes,” she said.
However, another resident wasn’t so kind.
“Lake Panasoffkee and Sumterville have become the armpit – no…the crotch! – of Sumter County,” said Nancy Dwyer of Lake Panasoffkee.
Commissioners approved the permit with 10 conditions recommended by the zoning special magistrate.
Conditions include that the property must be fenced, effluent disposal equipment must be maintained and valid state permits are required along with approval of a site plan.
Besides the permit, commissioners also voted to rezone the property from agriculture, commercial, residential and heavy commercial to general agriculture.
A utility shed for equipment is the only building planned for the site.