Published: Oct 12, 2010 10:41 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 12, 2010 4:37 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Owners of septic systems will be getting an unpleasant surprise in the mail, possibly as soon as this coming winter, and it will cost them money. The state of Florida is enforcing a new law that requires a certified inspection of every septic system. Owners will have to fix problems or pump out systems that are full.

"I am absolutely against it. It will push people over the edge in places like Lehigh Acres, where I have several properties," said Gary Kruse. "The fees just keep going up, the expenses for people go up and up, and it will drive people out of the state."

The state legislature passed the bill to evaluate all two and a half million septic systems in Florida. Lee County has an estimated 140,000 systems.

"We are doing it to find the ones that are leaking into the groundwater, or into private water wells. The septic systems can contaminate water supplies. We cannot have that," said Jim Love, a spokesman for the Lee Health Dept.

The inspections will cost about 500 dollars, according to Bob Himschoot, owner of a company that deals in septic systems.  

"I am upset that they are imposing this on the homeowner," said Ed Lawrence of Cape Coral. "Some people just cannot afford another 500 dollars. That bothers me."

The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2011. The state will require a one-time inspection of each system. It will take five years to do all the inspections.