Consultant’s Solution For Too Much Growth: Flush Toilets With Tub Water





The utility system is so stressed from new buildings in downtown Fort Lauderdale that a consultant suggests flushing toilets with wastewater from tubs, showers and sinks.

Using so-called “grey water” is just one idea being floated to handle the explosion of growth downtown. It comes from a Comprehensive Utility Strategic Master Plan developed earlier this year for the city by Reiss Engineering.

The reuse of waste water from sources like this hot tub would be reused if suggestion is accepted.   




Other possible solutions:

* Rebuilding pump stations and laying new pipes at a multi-million dollar cost.

* Putting a meter on each new apartment rather than the building as a whole, which could encourage conservation.

Downtown wastewater is currently handled through pump station A-7 and then pumped to a wastewater treatment plant.

“Gravity flows currently received by pumping station A-7 are at the station’s maximum capacity levels,” consultants warn. “Any current and future growth will exceed the existing station’s capacity.”

Yet the warning signs that the water and sewers are overtaxed have been ignored for years by Fort Lauderdale City Hall.

Almost no development large or small has been turned down, although Mayor Jack Seiler, Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts, other City Commissioners and City Manager Lee Feldman would argue that they have modified plans to lessen the impact.

The pro-development City Hall approved in recent years:


  • 14,362 new housing units,
  • Eight million square feet of commercial and office space, and
  • 1,241 new hotel rooms.


Don’t expect the feverish downtown development to stop anytime soon, despite the grim prediction from utility consultants.

Another 2,276 housing units, 199 hotel units and more than 500,000 square feet of retail or commercial new construction awaited approval at the end of March.

An indication of how much Fort Lauderdale government is in the grip of developers and their coterie of lobbyists is the latest building proposed for downtown — a 42-story building shoehorned into roughly 3/4th of an acre. The project would be squeezed between the northeast side of the SE Third Avenue Bridge and the New River, replacing a small office building.

If approved, the building would be the latest example of remaking Fort Lauderdale into what City Hall has peddled  for at least a decade — a community with a heavily-urbanized downtown that is pedestrian friendly.

But the residents in this building would be poor candidates for walking.

Roughly half the 400 apartments would be reserved for elderly dementia patients and those needing assistant living. The rest of the space would be for more mobile seniors.

With some apartments renting for roughly $50,000-a-year, there are none set aside for affordable housing, a stated goal of Fort Lauderdale commissioners and the Broward County Commission.

The proposal has limited parking. Developers planned parking for less than one car per every two apartment. There is almost no parking set aside for the support staff needed for the well-being of the frail elderly, such as medical personal, aides, maids or guests.

There is also little consideration made for the difficulty that emergency crews will have reaching patients in a 42-story building in the midst of the already gridlocked downtown.

What about a hurricane, which is sure to hit the area someday? Bridges have historically been left open for marine traffic prior to the storm. This would further complicate the already difficult evacuation of the seniors from the proposed skyscraper, which abuts the SE Third Avenue Bridge.

All the shortfalls won’t matter if the new building can’t get adequate water and sewer service.

Insuring that seniors in the building can flush their toilet could be made easier by using “grey water,” the consultant say.

Grey water is defined by the federal Enviromental Protection Agency as “reusable wastewater from residential, commercial and industrial bathroom sinks, bath tub shower drains, and clothes washing equipment drains.” In high density commercial areas such as the City’s Downtown Regional Activity Center reuse of gray water, if implemented, could reduce wastewater flows into the City’s system.”

Consultants suggest a carrot and stick approach to promote the use of grey water.

Developers would be charged for the extra treatment needed to use grey water. In return undefined “incentives” will be dangled in front of developers if they cooperate.

Any answers to the city’s inadequate water and sewer are far in the future, potentially allowing the senior project to slip in with little consideration of the impact on utilities. The project is scheduled to be heard by the Planning and Zoning Board this week and the City Commission before the end of the year.

That’s before any consideration of mandated new costs from grey water.

And it is before next year’s election when the voting public angry at runaway growth could flush the old developer-friendly commission down the toilet.



New downtown Fort Lauderdale buildings as of March, 2017, which does not contain the senior project.  The entire list can be found here. 

33 Responses to “Consultant’s Solution For Too Much Growth: Flush Toilets With Tub Water”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Its Seiler’s fault. He turned a nice city into a parking lot

  2. Paul Tanner says:

    The massive increase in property taxes can be used to build out necessary infrastructure. I have lived in downtown Fort Lauderdale since 1979. And grew up only in Pompano. It’s now become a fun, vibrant urban center. Stop trying to bring back the Fort Lauderdal e of Bob Cox and Virginia Young days. Embrace this new wonderful re-gentrifying city we’ve become. Or stay at your summer North Carolina homes. Get over it.

  3. S. Swan says:

    Great article. I live next door to this monster proposed project and the developers application to P & Z Board is a joke. So many lies about cumulative impact of traffic.

  4. Carl Berkelhammer says:

    If you’re involved in the real estate world at all, you’re familiar with the term “highest and best use”. its not just the highest and best use for the developer but for the community as a whole. Does this project, as described, meet that standard? What commerce does this project bring to the community? Will these residents spend money on Las Olas, will the merchants and restaurants benefit by this project? Will the current and future residents of the Las Olas neighborhood benefit by this project, or just suffer, not due to another building but because of what use the developer chooses to build on this property?

    Yes the city will receive increased taxes from the property but wouldn’t they if it was just another hi end condo with out the down side of the amount of traffic and other nuances credit specifically due to the proposed use , further lack of parking constraints and other pretty obvious negatives…

    I do realize and believe that development on the whole is a very positive event for the community. I’ve spent most of my adult life enjoying the benefits of urban living and wouldn’t live in suburbia again but this isn’t the highest and best use of the subject property. This brings NO overall NET benefit to the downtown Ft Lauderdale business nor residential community! No real net benefit in terms of either economic value or quality of life will be experienced.

    A change is warranted and needed…

  5. Stephen Strum says:



  6. Old timer says:

    Buildings catering to seniors need at least the parking required by code for residents, guests, staff, and aids.

  7. just saying says:

    isn’t there a threshold for more federal dollar$ when a city populations gets to 200,000? theer is a census coming in 2020. and re-districting, which counts heads, legal or not, not voters. doesn’t the split of the county sales tax get divied up to the cities by population? (50% to the county right off the top, and the rest divied up to municipalities based on population). right now Fort Lauderdale is tied or less than Pembroke Pines.
    so all of this density residential development within city limits serves all of the above.

  8. zigy says:

    parking is the key, how many staff are needed if half the build is for alzhiemerss patients, come on I guess they all will ride the new electric trolley this is a real joke,

  9. Driveby says:

    Wow, 400 new residents with dementia, that is a lot of absentee ballots to add to the equation!


    Not all of the units are dementia patients. About half are seniors who can live on their own.

  10. Alex says:

    And what happens if there’s a fire in a 42-story building occupied by senior citizens, many with dementia? This would be a disaster waiting to happen.

  11. Dementiacrat says:

    I guess if your voter card says Dem or Dementia the results are the same……

  12. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    So the answer is gray water in our toilets huh.You first city man.Lee Feldman.I mean what a mess this over development has created.I say tell the developers to pay for the updated sewer lines.No huh Lee we rob the sewer and water rev to transfer into you budget funds….Hiring senoir staff and paying them 90 to 100 g per year.And then raising everything you can think of to tax these ft.lau residents even more.Pray Lee Bruce Roberts gets in as mayoral cause if he goes up in smoke,your going to..

  13. More Lobbyists says:

    Mayor Sellout has caused this and Feldman does as he is told By Sellout, its a developers paradise, Judy Stern pulls all the strings on the dais they all owe her, and she gets every project approved not one has been turned down , and no one gives a damn about public safety, it just keeps growing out of control.Pure madness, 3 rd ave will be shutdown for 9 months how does fire rescue get to hospital now?

  14. Roger Moore says:

    This will truly be the venice of America, buy your canoes now. All the green space that use to percolate rain water is now paved over, the runoff from these areas have nowhere to go. They want to redevelop Sistrunk, an area already none to flood with a regular rain storm. Luckily we’ll have about 14,000 new voters (if these folks actually “lived” here.) The people will speak up at some point, hopefully not too late.

  15. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Just read Brittany Wallman take.100mill City manager took from water and sewer reserves ti put in general fund to compensate and supplement budget so he can hire senior manangement fellows as he calls them to pay thwm 90 to 100g.Again over 100 mill.No way Lee.One more sewer back up or sewer pupe burst get ready for buckets of that raw sewerage to be thrown on your front lawn Lee.Cone up with something Bruce Roberts to win in January.Although Charlie Ki g and his vile emsils concerning THE Books with cockaroack to money grab is your ti ket to the mayors office bruce.Shame on your Charlie.What a week first C-c Charlie emails .zthen the bosses wife says i look like Charlie Sheen.I prefer the tennis player.Charlie Sheen please….

  16. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    I just reveiwed the city manager response to Brittany’s shocking story on all this monies that were diverted from the water and sewer to help fund other city that he has over 100 mill in projects etc. to replace and strengthen our sewer infrastructure.Still this discovery is shocking.I say cut payroll.Lay offs.10% reductions in salaries etc.This is the route you need to go Comm.Bruce Roberts(i cannot support any canidate that Charlie K.supports after his past weeks emails).This is what i would do if i was running for mayor.Cut,cut,cut.You don.t like it staff etc.Quit…
    loyality.Allegiance is with the residents that not only affected by this mess but are. paying for all this.City man.just charge the residents more for services..No waay.Take this action Comm.Roberts and i guarntee you the keys to city sir..

  17. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Tell yoy one thing to these mayoral canidates Lee Feldman actions here robbing the water and sewer reserves is your chance to the keys to the city.There is no way to justify his actions.Here you are paying your water and sewer( which he raised,mind you)and then Bozo here raids the money to divert to other expenses.A form of check kiting(yes).So much for your claim to fame Mayor Seiler didn.t raise the mill.rate etc,no i just robbed the water and sewer accounts so when you flush your toilets you are afraid that its going to come right back at you. No egg on your face is an understatement….

  18. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Sewer piped burst on Bayshore Dr.Raw sewage going into intercoastal waters.Like like this shit spewing all over so goes your career Lee.But wait one of his ast.managers making 100g is informing him right now.Thank you,Moles….

  19. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    My honest opinion is thay Comm.Dean Trantalis should run for mayor.He will lead the way to get rid of Feldman.Solve the homeless problems and stop all this over development.Run Dean run…

  20. dirty politicians says:

    You have a few things wrong Robert, first off what ever Jack wanted Bruce voted yes on, Judy Stern controls them, Lee did as Jack told him, and he is just the fall Guy
    Jack thinks the shit wont stick to him in the future, this city is a financial mess because of him, and we have not seen the worst of our problems, this is just the appetizer, the main course will be when the developers sue the city when the million dollar condos wont sell and the toilets wont flush but Jack will be at some event partying and leave us in the shit bath, now they want to defund clean water, its like a comedy act, then enter Count COCO Puffs defending them, you can’t write this bullshit, all a money grab to fund Pension and big salaries and hire more consultants, Mayor Sellout is to blame and Bruce wont be any different. we need new blood that has no ties to Judy , she has them all by the balls,

  21. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Now Brittany Wallman(be careful Brittany they don.t call the publisher/editor to transfer you to Tim Buck Too)she states the Auditor now has come forward(he should for making a whopping quater of a mill yes over 225thou)and that tbe upcoming budget isn.t balanced.Me.Feldman now we will rsid the parking rev.Out.Out.Out.Mr.Feldman.Enjoy being the big shot cause the next mayor will definitely get rid of you.(magic#3and we allready have two ).Unreal.Thank you Brittany.Great reporting.Although they will try to spread rumors about you.Don.t worry this time when i come to you sue the snot out of them for harasssment(she knows what im talking about-got your back)….Whats next City man.Lee Feldman charging us to walk on the beach.Don.t give him any ideas…

  22. Keep the Party Going says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic/iconic if the poop overflows right down the great Irish parade route.
    They are quietly pumping poop, moving it over to the northwest 24/7.
    This is unbelievable!
    Just keep throwing those parties and smiling, nobody will notice….

  23. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Did you all see the paper today and that Comm.Bruce Roberts wants to raise property taxes to address all this mess(you bet when you say the public is losing trust with the commission).Also in the editorial section one writes “Venice of America polluted”zResident goes on to say city(Mr.Feldman) diverts(i would have statef steals)106 milluon dollars of collected sewer and water monies to cover unrelated city budget deficits”.Start packing Lee.Ships in a harbor are safe,but that is not what ships are built for”.Don.t play it sae Comm.Trantalis.Run.Run for Mayor to fix this bs…

  24. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Another sewer ruptured AGAIN today.100 and 100 gallons of raw sewage all over the place.I blame the city manager.This cover up story or damage control story that their now spending millions of dollars to replace and fix sewers.BS.City manager should have made this a priority yrs.ago.Money was there if he dudn.t raid the accounts.Here residents paid their water and sewer bills faithfully,religiously month after month to have city manager take those funds etc.and spent it on other unrelated projects.No.This will cost you Comm.Bruce Roberts.Denounce him.Fire him.Im telling you Bruce you are going to lose.And you should lose if you just put him on performance evualtiion.Comm.Trantalis what more do you need to run..And Mayor Seiler we as a city with you at the helm will not forget this either.Don.r think Bruce Roberts is going to take the geat alone.You won.t even be able to run foe dog catcher..Brittany Wallman keep up the good reporting….

  25. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Todays editorial where City man.Lee Feldman states sewer ruptures an exaggeration(wait) and that (get this) being the manager doesn.t come with a crystal ball.Yes.any job doesn.t come with a crystal ball.The whole point is if you didn.t deliberately neglect the aging sewer pipes etc.and didn.t divert over 100mill topay other cost we wouldn.r be seeing sewer ruprures breaks like every other day.Unreal.Solution.Lee feldman must go.Take the profits from the pension monies(320mill)that are being invested in the stock market(@22thu its made big bucks-Dow again @22thou)Put those profits back in sewer and water acc.Lay off his office help(senior man fellows)Cur.Cut until you reach the 100mill you took fromthe acc.etc.Do this Bruce Roberts and i.ll support you all day.This won.t happen because Mayor Seiler will never admit defeat.Thats why he was hush hush this week with his future plans because he wants the dust to settle..No way Mayor.Dea Trantalis and Charlotte Rodstrom get together.Pick who will run etc.Char consider district comm.Whatever Dean with all this baggage you can do this.Bottom line Lee Feldman is poison and any one that supports hum is political suicide….

  26. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Jusyt heard word that Char Rodstrom going nowhere as of right now. Comm.Trantalis staying put doesn’t think he can win city wide. Sexuality an issue esp. in Rio Vista(screw Rioo Vista you were never going to get them anyhow). A lot of chit chat that several are encouraging Atty.Bob Kelley to run. Again, its either Char rodstrom , not several others . you split the vote . Hence Roberts prevails. support from public Bruce Roberts still can be achieved. Denounce Feldman. Put him on performance probation. Put monies back in sewer acc. Start showing up at these ruptures. Tell these residents w/ these ruptures at their home what as a city you can do for them. Have the vac. truck w/ you. Bring Feldman w/ rubber gloves to wash off the raw sewerage from people’s drive.. Do this and I guarantee you the keys.. Mayor Seiler you are ducking. No AG, no c,c mayor. Nothing you will get if you leave us in this poop mess…….Brittany keep it up circulation through the roof. went to 7/11 paper sold out.. Congrats..

  27. Hey Robert says:

    Tell us readers more about your previous comments where you said Bruce Roberts would have problems if details about his pension came out.

  28. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #27.In doing the math there is no way Charlotte Rodstrom can win.I do think she could gwt her district seat back.Comm Trantalis after recent polling beat both Bruce and Charlotte by huge margins.I have the stats.Dean come on im sure you have seen the polling results.Why the hestitation??.Its all abourt the residents.Brittany Wallman release the pension info.Both do borh John Rodstrom and Bruce Roberts.You will see how using Bruce pension won.t work cause John is quite heavy as well…..

  29. No Kidding says:

    Roberts police pension is six figures annually. Just like any other retired chief after 40 years at FLPD. He will also get a pension after none years on FLCC. Come March 2018 he will get to enjoy the perks with out the distraction of duplicity on the dais.

  30. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    …Just got word Bob Kelley in. Trantalis on the fence.Not foe mayor, foe his district Now this is your chance Charlotte. Play it safe. Run for old seat Again. moles telling me Atty.Kelley in..Same scenario.Char and Bob split the angry vote. Roberts prevails. However talk about increase property taxes and praising Feldman will drown you Comm.Roberts. This is about to get good..Will see…

  31. 3 pensions on way to 4? says:

    As I read the article below, it appears that Roberts retired as an officer right before becoming Chief. Being named Chief started a while new pension. Those are pensions 1 and 2. Serving on the Commission is pension #3. If Mayor is a separate pension classification, that would be pension #4.

  32. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    All this talk about Bruce Roberts pensions.I told alot of you 6 months ago this would be an issue.Futhermore there are bigger fish to fry with this sewer accounts and all the ruptures.Now in today paper Ft.lau is going to pay fined up to a half a mill.dollars.Shocking.Also over. Half a million gallons of raw sewage has gone into our waterways.Mickey Mouse could run for mayor with these revelations.If you think you can go the distance Charlotte Rodstrom and you keep telling everyone etc.that you are not dropping out ,well whats your answer to all this mess.Article went on to say possible criminal charges could be warranted pertaining to city man.Lee Feldman….

  33. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    1. Lee Feldman was named a LOCAL HERO by the Broward League of Cities
    2. Vice Mayor Bruce Tiberts was a decorated Chief of Police.
    3. Robert Walsh is a FELON.