About 21,000 gallons of raw sewage spill on East Venice Avenue after break in county sewer pipeline

Crew recovers all but about 500 gallons

The red balloon marks the site of the Jan. 25 sewage spill in Venice. Image from Google Maps

A break in a Sarasota County sewer force main in Venice on Jan. 25 resulted in the spill of approximately 21,000 gallons of raw sewage at 2110 E. Venice Ave., the county’s Public Utilities Department has reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

About 20,500 gallons were recovered from a swale and stormwater canal, the report added. Multiple pumpers and vacuum trucks were used, the report noted.

No surface waters were affected, the report pointed out.

Notifications were being provided to the affected property owners and residents, the report continued, and clean-up procedures were proceeding according to county protocol.

The break was in an 8-inch force main, the report said. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains, “Force mains are pipelines that convey wastewater under pressure from the discharge side of a pump or pneumatic ejector to a discharge point. Pumps or compressors located in a lift station provide the energy for wastewater conveyance in force mains.”

County staff apparently learned of the spill from a call, the report indicated.

The incident began at 12:45 p.m., as documented in the report, and the situation was resolved by 1:45 p.m.

This is the FDEP map showing the site of the spill. Image courtesy FDEP

The force main is part of the infrastructure associated with the county’s Venice Gardens Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), which stands at 375 Venice East Blvd. As the county website notes, that facility serves the unincorporated areas of South County.

The supervisor of that wastewater treatment plant, Angelo Rosario-O’Neill, was the individual identified as having made the report to FDEP.