Contractor already was in process of replacing line before event occurred, county staff says
Early in the morning of Aug. 8, the Sarasota County Public Utilities Department staff was alerted to a break in a 12-inch sewer force main at the county’s regional lift station on 27th Street in Sarasota. An estimated 30,000 gallons of wastewater ended up spilling into an adjacent ditch, staff reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
Workers were able to recover about 27,000 gallons of the wastewater, staff noted.
The location of the incident was 2470 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, the report said. That site is southeast of Newtown Estates Park and northeast of Emma E. Booker Elementary School, a map shows.
A contractor was in the process of replacing the 12-inch force main, with the new line scheduled to be put into service this week, the report explained. After the spill was discovered, the report continued, the “old line was capped and removed from service and the new pipe was put into service.”
As 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.”
No surface waters were affected by the spill, the report pointed out, so no sampling of water bodies was necessary. Clean-up of the site and notifications to surrounding property owners and residents proceeded according to county protocol, the report added.
The incident was reported at 7 a.m. on Aug. 8; the issues were resolved by 7:30 a.m.
The pipeline is part of the infrastructure associated with the county’s largest wastewater treatment plant, the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility, which stands at 5550 Lorraine Road in Sarasota.