SARASOTA, Fla (FOX 13) - The water appears clean and beautiful in Sarasota County.
"This is the life blood of Sarasota and it’s important," said Justin Bloom.
Justin Bloom, the founder of Suncoast Waterkeeper, wants it to stay that way.
Suncoast Waterkeeper is giving Sarasota County 60 days’ notice before they plan to file a lawsuit. They say the County has violated the Federal Clean Water Act for dumping reclaimed water.
"We are here to protect local waterways and the communities that rely on them," said Bloom.
While scientists say red tide occurs naturally, Bloom believes it was made worse from manufactured nutrients in addition to reclaimed water, millions of gallons over the years.
"When it rains a lot storm water finds its way into the collection system which is just supposed to be sewage. It’s inundated with water and it finds its way out," said Bloom.
The County has three reclamation facilities. The largest is the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation.
"On average we produce about seven to eight million gallons a day. Typically we put between five and six million gallons of reclaimed water out into the system," said Mike Mylett, Sarasota County wastewater division manager.
Mylett says the spills do happen from time to time, but he said the water has no bacteria in it.
"All the spills that Sarasota County has are reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on a routine basis, as is required. We don’t hide anything here in the county. We work directly with DEP," said Mylett.
The Suncoast Waterkeeper said it’s not about the lawsuit, it's about making sure the environment and our waterways are kept clean.
"We see this as a significant threat. We are stepping up to try to address it," said Bloom