About 3,000 gallons of raw sewage spills from Laurel Road lift station following electrical failure

County staff recovers approximately 20,000 gallons of sewage and stormwater

On Jan. 30, at 5100 Laurel Road East in Nokomis, approximately 3,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled from a manhole into the adjacent stormwater system, Sarasota County Public Utilities Department staff has reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

A crew was able to recover about 20,000 gallons of sewage and stormwater from the stormwater structures, the report said.

The incident resulted from an electrical failure at the Fiore Lift Station, which stands at 5100 Laurel Road, the report added.

After county workers responded to the scene, they determined that the lift station could not be returned to service right away with the equipment on hand, the report continued. Thus, they installed a bypass pump, so the lift station could function once again, the report said.

As High Tide Technologies explains, “A wastewater lift station is a pumping station that moves wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. The benefit of using a lift station in a sewage collection system is that it saves a substantial amount of money in excavation costs, which involves digging for sewer pipes. Sewer pipes live underground, and digging trenches is costly. Installing a wastewater lift station at certain points in a gravity pipeline system saves on front-end construction costs without sacrificing efficiency or functionality. They play an integral role in moving sewage to a wastewater treatment plant.

Following the spill, county staff began the clean-up process and notifications of nearby property owners, according to county protocol, the report added.

“Since this lift station is still under warranty,” the report pointed out, “the staff is working with the developer to find the root cause of the electrical problems and make the necessary repairs.”

The site of the spill is near several residential developments, including a Lee Wetherington Homes community, Toscano Isles and the Treviso Grand Apartments, a map shows.

The incident began at 6:20 a.m. on Jan. 30. It took the county workers until 7:45 a.m. to resolve the situation, the report noted.

The lift station is part of the infrastructure associated with the county’s Venice Gardens Water Reclamation Facility, which is located at 375 Venice East Blvd. in Venice, the report said.