Brevard County Provides Details On Wastewater Discharge Incidents In Barefoot Bay, Viera

By  //  May 13, 2016

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Neither incident involved discharge of raw sewage

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At the Barefoot Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant, operator error allowed 281,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater to enter a canal which flows 4 miles to the San Sebastian River. (Brevard County image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard County Utility Services experienced two wastewater discharge events during February.

The first event occurred at the Barefoot Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In this instance, operator error allowed 281,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater to enter a canal which flows 4 miles to the San Sebastian River. This partially treated wastewater was not raw sewage and was waiting for final filtering in preparation for use on the Barefoot Bay golf course.

The second February event occurred at the South Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in Viera.

In this case, water was diverted to holding ponds which were already near capacity. The subsequent over flow resulted in 1.5 million gallons of treated reclaimed water being discharged to a canal which flows to the St. Johns river, not the Indian River Lagoon.

Neither of the February incidents involved the discharge of raw sewage.

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At the South Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in Viera, water was diverted to holding ponds which were already near capacity. (Brevard County image)

A consent order was issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) because neither of the discharges had been permitted. The administrative fines totaled $4,100 combined for the two discharges.

On Tuesday, May 10, a leaking sewer force main required repair.

Repair of the force main on South Patrick drive was complicated due to excessive inflow of groundwater in the excavation due to close proximity to a canal. The pipe was nine feet deep. Utility staff and two underground contractors worked non-stop for 38 hours.

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After the first 24 hours, the ability to store and/or haul sewage was exhausted, so the decision was made to divert sewage to a nearby canal to prevent backups into streets, homes or businesses. Additional staff and equipment was brought in to complete the repair as quickly as possible.

Currently, the County is spending $134 million on a 10-year water/wastewater system improvement program, of which $67 million is presently funded through bonds and a low-interest loan.

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