About 1,000 gallons of raw sewage spills just east of Honore Avenue, near Urfer Family Park

County staff able to recover approximately 500 gallons

This graphic shows the location of the June 18 sewage spill. Image courtesy FDEP

On the morning of June 18, approximately 1,000 gallons of raw sewage overflowed from a manhole onto the pavement and into a nearby stormwater pond in the area of 5338 Crestlake Blvd. in Sarasota, county staff has reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

The notice that county staff filed says the incident began at 7:30 a.m., and it took workers until 11:30 a.m. to rectify the situation.

About 500 gallons of the sewage was recovered, the FDEP report points out. Notifications to area property owners and water testing were proceeding according to county protocol, the report adds.

The location of the June 18 incident is adjacent to Honore Avenue, just east of Urfer Family Park, which stands at the intersection of Bee Ridge Road and Honore, an accompanying map shows. Crestview Lake Boulevard is part of the Crestwood Villas of Sarasota condominium complex, according to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office.

This aerial map shows the proximity of the Crestlake Boulevard address to Urfer Family Park (left). Image from Google Maps

In that report, county staff alluded to an earlier problem that apparently resulted in the June 18 incident.

The Sarasota News Leader learned from the Sarasota County Government Facebook page that, about 6 a.m. the previous day — June 17 — staff monitoring the county’s sewage collection system “noticed unusual activity at the Bent Tree Main Lift Station,” which is located at 7650 Bee Ridge Road. During an investigation of that situation, the Facebook post said, “county operations staff discovered [a Florida Power & Light Co.] power failure to the station.” The “system was running on the standby generator,” the post added.

During repairs, the post continued, “a failed electrical component in the transfer switch intermittently started and stopped the generator,” causing the pumps to fail. That resulted in the lift station’s “overflowing and spilling approximately 800 gallons of raw sewage onto the adjacent shell driveway,” the post said. Staff was able to recover 200 gallons, it added.

This is a view of the Bent Tree Main Lift Station, located at 7650 Bee Ridge Road. Image from Google Maps

Notifications were provided for nearby property owners, the post noted, and the cleanup there was proceeding according to county protocol. Because no surface waters were involved, the post said, no water sampling was necessary.

At the Crestlake Boulevard spill site, county workers used a camera to inspect the sewer line, the report continues. They “discovered that large amounts of sediment had built up obstructing flow. The most likely source of the sediment,” the FDEP report notes, was from a damaged sanitary sewer pipeline further upstream, which workers already had addressed. Staff “thoroughly cleaned the [affected] lines,” and the system began functioning properly once again, the report says.

The pipeline from which the sewage flowed on June 18 is part of the Bee Ridge Wastewater Reclamation Facility service area, the report adds. The Bee Ridge plant is the largest of the three in the county’s sewage treatment system. Located at 5550 Lorraine Road in Sarasota, it is being converted to an Advanced Wastewater Treatment facility, and its capacity will be expanded from 12 million gallons per day to 18 million gallons per day.