Malfunction of air release valve results in spill of about 2,500 gallons of raw sewage near Sarasota Art Museum

County crew recovers approximately 2,000 gallons

The March 30 malfunction of an air release valve (AVR) resulted in the spill of approximately 2,500 gallons of raw sewage in the vicinity of the Sarasota Art Museum on South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, Sarasota County Public Utilities Department staff has reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

The museum stands at 1001 S. Tamiami Trail.

The address of the incident was 1038 S. Tamiami Trail, which is southwest of the intersection of Browning Street and U.S. 41 and just east of the southern border of the Central Park II neighborhood, a map shows.

The incident was reported at 11 a.m. on March 30, the report noted. County crews alerted to a possible sewage spill at the location found that the raw sewage had spilled onto the ground, the report added. About 2,000 gallons of the sewage was recovered from the site, the report continued, with clean-up and notifications of nearby property owners and residents proceeding per county protocol.

“No surface waters were impacted,” the report said, so no water sampling was necessary.

In a blog, Crane Engineering explains, “Air release valves are installed at the highest points in a pipeline where air naturally collects. Air bubbles enter the valve and displace the liquid inside, lowering the liquid level. When the level drops to where it no longer buoys the float, the float drops. This motion pulls the seat away from the orifice, triggering the valve to open and vent the accumulated air into the atmosphere. As the air is vented, liquid re-enters the valve, once again buoying the float, lifting it until the seat presses against the orifice, closing the valve. This cycle automatically repeats as often as necessary to maintain an air-free system.”

Crane Engineering has offices in Wisconsin and Minnesota, its website says.

The county crew that dealt with the spill said the problems were resolved by 11:45 a.m.

The equipment involved in the incident is part of the Central County Water Reclamation Facility service area, the report noted. That facility is located on the grounds of Palmer Ranch.