FORT WALTON BEACH — Okaloosa County Commissioner Nathan Boyles on Thursday inspected more than $15 million worth of recent upgrades to the county’s main wastewater treatment plant.

The Arbennie Pritchett Water Reclamation Facility at 250 Roberts Blvd. off Lewis Turner Boulevard is in Boyles' commission district. He was instrumental in allocating county funding for the upgrades, which include new retention tanks and a "Septage FOG" (Fats, Oils and Grease) station.

County officials said the station will reduce the amount of raw sewage dumped in the environment.

The state Legislature passed an unfunded mandate several years ago that compelled contractors and septage haulers to bring fats, oils and grease waste to a plant for treatment, according to county information. County officials said that before the mandate took effect, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection had allowed such waste to be dumped in the northern part of the county and covered with lime.

The new Septage FOG station allows fats, oils, greases and other forms of solid waste and wastewater to be hauled into the treatment plant, where they are treated in the most environmentally sustainable way possible, county officials say.