About 2,700 gallons of raw sewage spills in Venice after pipeline breaks

County staff able to recover approximately 2,200 gallons

This graphic shows the location of the spill. Image courtesy FDEP

At 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 11, Sarasota County Public Utilities Department staff learned that about 2,700 gallons of raw sewage had begun spilling from a broken 8-inch sewer force main located at the intersection of East Venice Avenue and Venice Palms Boulevard in Venice, staff reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

“The crews isolated the force main quickly to stop the spill,” the report adds.

County workers were able to recover about 2,200 gallons of the effluent, the report says, as it had flowed into an adjacent swale. The staff members used pumper and vacuum trucks, the report notes.

The U.S. 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.”

Clean-up of the site and notifications to property owners and residents in the vicinity were “proceeding per protocol,” the report adds. “No surface waters were affected,” the report points out, so no sampling of water bodies was required.

The situation was resolved by 2:45 p.m. the same day, the report says.

The broken pipeline is part of the infrastructure connected to the county’s Venice Gardens Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), which stands at 375 Venice East Blvd.

This aerial map shows more details of the location of the spill. Image from Google Maps

The county website points out, “Wastewater is pumped to the [Venice Gardens] treatment plant through a network of underground pipes and lift stations. At the plant, the wastewater is screened to remove inorganic material. After screening, the wastewater goes through a biological process followed by filtration and disinfection of the reclaimed water. The reclaimed water is stored in a 3-million-gallon tank and distributed to golf course and residential reuse customer ponds. Excess reclaimed water produced during wet weather is disposed of in a deep injection well.”

The website also notes, “The Venice Gardens WRF is staffed 16 hours per day, seven days per week by State of Florida licensed treatment plant operators.”

The operator of the Venice WRF filed the report with FDEP, the report says.