Jan 07, 2020

126.8 Million Gallons of Sewage Spill After Fort Lauderdale Sewer Main Breaks

Fort Lauderdale, Florida city officials reported a combined 126.8 million gallons of sewage spilled into the streets after six sewer main breaks.

sewage spill

A combined 126.8 million gallons of sewage spilled onto the streets of Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods after six sewer main breaks in December, according to a report released by city officials.

The majority of the damage was done in the Rio Vista neighborhood, where nearly 113 million gallons spilled beginning on Dec. 10, reported NBC Miami. In the neighborhood's Hector Park, 35.4 million gallons of sewage was discharged, while Virginia Young Park dealt with 77.57 million gallons. 

13.70 million gallons of sewage was discharged into the Himmarshee canal on Dec. 21, where a waterway advisory is still in effect, according to the report.

The sewer main breaks have since been repaired and city officials are focused on replacing the pipes that ruptured in Victoria Park. The city says it will submit the full report to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Broward County, according to NBC Miami

According to Adams Chaz, a city spokesman, any water-related activities remain dangerous in the Himmarshee Canal.

"Our life surrounds the river, we live on the river. Our whole existence is based on living downtown on part of the river and our kids fish in the river, " said resident Lisa Siegel to WLRN. "We're seeing dead fish and wildlife, we're watching dead snooks float by our house.”

Residents are planning a demonstration for Jan. 12, in an effort to call on city leaders to take action to fix unreliable sewage infrastructure.    

"I realize that people need to start caring more about what's happening around us and what's happening to the water because it's all we've got," said resident Lily O'Neil to WLRN. "We need to stop polluting."

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