About 5,000 gallons of fully treated, reclaimed water spills into stormwater catch basin on Palmer Ranch

Pipeline leak results in incident, county reports

On the morning of Feb. 19, an estimated 5,000 gallons of fully treated reclaimed water spilled into a stormwater catch basin and ditch on Palmer Ranch, Sarasota County Public Utilities Department staff has reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

As Law Insider explains, a catch basin is “a cisternvaultchamber or well that is usually built along a street as part of the storm sewer system to capture sediment, debris, and pollutants.”

About 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, county staff received a call about a water leak north of the intersection of Mirada Way and Prestancia Boulevard, staff notified FDEP. When on-call workers arrived at the site, the report says, they found that an 8-inch reclaimed water pipeline was leaking. They located the valve and shut it off, the report adds, stopping the leak.

Using a vacuum truck, the workers were able to recover 4,500 gallons of the water, the report points out. “No bodies of water were affected,” the report says, so no sampling was necessary. Notifications of nearby property owners were proceeding according to county protocol, the report notes, adding, “Repairs will be scheduled.”

Workers remained on the site until 11:15 a.m. on Feb. 19, the report says.

This incident occurred six days after approximately 192,000 gallons of reuse water spilled into a stormwater collection system on Palmer Ranch, as The Sarasota News Leader reported in its Feb. 17 issue. A faulty automatic shut-off valve was cited as the reason for that spill, county staff explained.

The county sells reuse/reclaimed water for irrigation purposes, Mike Mylett, director of the Public Utilities Department, has pointed out.

The pipeline in this latest incident is part of the infrastructure associated with the Central County Water Reclamation Facility, which stands at 7905 McIntosh Road on Palmer Ranch. The spill site is northwest of the intersection of McIntosh Road and Palmer Ranch Parkway, an FDEP map shows.