Strange step shape in the Florida forest

This is almost hieroglyphic looking. I’ve looked at this for several days, and have no idea what it might be. All that I am able to ascertain is that it is a clearing, and long piles of what appears to be beach sand (it is in Florida near the ocean) are arranged in a pattern.

Some kind of school for creative bulldozing?

Click image to enlarge.

Here’s the details: SOLVED – see solution below

You can find it here at this lat/lon 30.367654, -86.066723 link in Google maps here

It is about 3 miles east of point Washington, FL and just off Choctawatchee Bay. It is about a mile north of the ICCW (Intra Coastal Water Way) and may be part of the Washington National Forest.

Based on GE timeline, it appears to have been made sometime between 6-28-2003 and 11-14-2003 when it first became visible in GE.

Readers, any ideas?

==================================

SOLVED! Verity Jones writes in comments:

Mystery solved. It is part of the Point Washington wastewater treatment facility; you can see the main plant over the river at  30°21’18.88″N, 86° 6’40.24″W if you zoom out.

From Page 6 of the permit here: http://appprod.dep.state.fl.us/nwu/Point_Washington_FLA010252_022_NR_Permit.pdf

“Land Application R-004: An existing 1.1 MGD annual average daily flow permitted capacity Part IV rapid-rate land application system (RIB-004). RIB-004 is a reuse system which consists of two (2) rapid infiltration basins (454,500 square feet, each) on 20.9 total acres with an application rate of 1.94 inches/day at Bunker Road. The rapid infiltration basins are located approximately at <b>latitude 30° 22′ 05″ N, longitude 86°03′ 45″ W.</b>”

When rain causes the volume of wastewater to increase drastically – much more than the wastewater plant can handle, it also becomes very weak and can be pumped to such basins and allowed to filter slowly through the soil which has the effect of cleaning the water.

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  1. #1 by Mike on May 22, 2011 - 1:54 pm

    If the berms are high enough it would make a great shooting range – with a few walls you could set-up house entry/street clearing courses of fire type stuff.

  2. #2 by Scott on May 22, 2011 - 1:56 pm

    The map linked below shows that it’s private, it’s labeled “Out,” and is within the boundaries of but not part of a water management area. Interesting and mysterious.

    Could the nearby “Bunker Road” be a clue that it’s a bunker of some sort? An underground private something-or-other?

  3. #3 by Scott on May 22, 2011 - 1:57 pm

  4. #4 by Scott on May 22, 2011 - 2:07 pm

    It might be the clear-cut tract described in an article about St. Joseph Paper Company:

    http://www.seanmussenden.com/StJoe3.html

    Excerpt:

    Yet, not every piece of property St. Joe has sold to the government has been pristine.

    In 2001, it sold a 2,600-acre tract known as Devil’s Swamp to the Northwest Florida Water Management District for $3.7 million. A few years before the sale went through, the company chopped down almost the entire crop of slash pine on a 300- to 400-acre section of the property, said William O. Cleckley, director of the district’s division of land management.

    Though the company has largely shifted to development, “we are [still] a timber company,” with production schedules to keep, St. Joe spokesman Jerry Ray said. Willson said the property had been a grassy flat before the company planted pines, so the clear-cutting returned the land to a more natural state.

    Cleckley said his agency knew about the clear-cutting when negotiations for the land began. But he said he would have preferred to restore the property much more gradually, had St. Joe not clear-cut it.

  5. #5 by Ingvar Engelbrecht on May 22, 2011 - 2:25 pm

    Strange yes. I did a zooming out and it disappears. Zooming and it reappears. Looking straight at google earth it does not behave like that. Lesser objects does not disappear when zooming out. Strange indeed,

  6. #6 by Don V on May 22, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    If you zoom in you can also see that the “trees” in the forest surrounding this area are all planted in neat rows, almost like it is in the middle of an citrus grove. Is this perhaps a large parking lot for harvest trucks?

  7. #7 by Verity Jones on May 22, 2011 - 4:29 pm

    Mystery solved. It is part of the Point Washington wastewater treatment facility; you can see the main plant over the river at 30°21’18.88″N, 86° 6’40.24″W if you zoom out.

    From Page 6 of the permit here: http://appprod.dep.state.fl.us/nwu/Point_Washington_FLA010252_022_NR_Permit.pdf

    “Land Application R-004: An existing 1.1 MGD annual average daily flow permitted capacity Part IV rapid-rate land application system (RIB-004). RIB-004 is a reuse system which consists of two (2) rapid infiltration basins (454,500 square feet, each) on 20.9 total acres with an application rate of 1.94 inches/day at Bunker Road. The rapid infiltration basins are located approximately at latitude 30° 22′ 05″ N, longitude 86°03′ 45″ W.

    When rain causes the volume of wastewater to increase drastically – much more than the wastewater plant can handle, it also becomes very weak and can be pumped to such basins and allowed to filter slowly through the soil which has the effect of cleaning the water.

    • #8 by Anthony Watts on May 22, 2011 - 8:25 pm

      Well, that’s a bunch of crap.
      ;-) Thanks Verity!

  8. #9 by Corky Boyd on May 23, 2011 - 11:54 am

    You had me searching for all the prisons in the pan handle. No luck. It’s about the only spot on the coastal highway (FL-98) that doesn’t have a prison. There are some awfully desolate parts of that road with signs warning you not to pick up hitchhikers. Scary!

    Other than a prison under construction, my second guess would have been a space alien puzzle. Just like everything else, I was wrong on both.

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