No water bodies were affected, county staff reports to FDEP
Early in the morning of Feb. 13, Sarasota County staff learned that a pond on Palmer Ranch holding “reuse water” had overflowed, with an estimated 192,000 gallons of the treated water having entered the stormwater collection system, staff notified the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
No bodies of water were affected by the spill, the resulting report pointed out. Therefore, no sampling of water bodies was necessary, the report said. Notifications were “proceeding per protocol,” the report added, referring to steps staff takes to ensure that nearby property owners are aware of such an event.
“Reuse water” is sewage that has been treated for purposes other than drinking water. The county sells such water for irrigation in communities, for example, staff has explained.
The site of the incident was 5639 Rain Lily Court, the report noted. That was identified as part of the Hammock Preserve community on Palmer Ranch. The location is north of Honore Avenue and west of Interstate 75.
When staff arrived at the scene and met with the groundskeeper, the report explained, staff “found a faulty automatic shut-off valve.” The water had flowed from the stormwater collection system into a stormwater retention area, the report said. “The valve to the pond was manually shut off to stop the flow. The automatic valve will be evaluated to determine the cause of the failure,” the report added.
The incident began at 6 a.m., the report noted. Staff concluded its work at the site by 10 a.m.
The reuse water pond is part of the county’s Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility service area, the report said. The Bee Ridge plant, which is being converted to Advanced Wastewater Treatment status, stands at 5550 Lorraine Road in Sarasota.