Water main break in Laurel Oak Estates results in spill of 12,400 gallons of fully treated, reclaimed water

County staff unable to recover any of the spillage

This map, provided by FDEP, shows the site of the spill. Image courtesy FDEP

Because a 16-inch reclaimed water main failed, approximately 12,400 gallons of fully treated, reclaimed water spilled into a stormwater canal behind the single-family home located at 2758 Dick Wilson Drive, Sarasota County Public Utilities staff reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) on Feb. 17.

“A water main is a primary underground pipe in a municipal water distribution system,” Trenchlesspedia.com explains. “It is a major artery that supplies water to smaller pipes on the way to homes and businesses.”

Water mains take clean water from a government’s water treatment plant to communities that need it, the website adds.

Site and soil conditions at the site of the spill made it impossible for staff to recover any of the water, the FDEP report noted. Surface waters were affected, the report added, so sampling was underway to determine any effects on the canal, the report said.

Notifications and cleanup efforts were proceeding “per protocol,” the report pointed out, referring to the county’s guidelines for actions in the aftermath of such an incident.

County staff was alerted of the potential water main break at 3 p.m. on Feb. 16, the report noted. By 3:30 p.m. that day, the report said, the spill had stopped.

This aerial map shows the site, which is part of Laurel Oak Estates. Image from Google Maps

Dick Wilson Drive is east of Interstate 75 and west of Palmer Boulevard. It is part of the Laurel Oak Estates, the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s website says. The Laurel Oak Community Association website says the neighborhood encompasses 346 homes and 60 villas on 813 acres in the area of the Laurel Oak Country Club.

The affected water main is part of the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility Service Area, the FDEP report indicated. The Bee Ridge plant is located at 5550 Lorraine Road in Sarasota.