WASTEWATER MAIN BREAK UPDATE: Samples Taken Downstream Show High Levels of Contamination
By Space Coast Daily // November 18, 2016
swimming, fishing not recommended
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Wastewater from the leaking force main, which was damaged on Tuesday, continues to be diverted into the adjacent stormwater pond.
Work is underway to repair the 16-inch wastewater force main under the Eau Gallie River after it was damaged by a City of Melbourne contractor drilling under the river to install a new 20-inch reclaimed water main.
The damage occurred on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. when the contractor accidentally hit the 16-inch wastewater force main in the same location, causing wastewater to spill from the rupture, according to Cheryl Mall, Public Information Officer for the City of Melbourne.
“As was advised earlier in the week, there is no wastewater going into the Eau Gallie River at this time,” said Mall.
On Friday, City crews began the process of removing the wastewater from the stormwater pond using vactor trucks.
The trucks transported this water to the nearby water reclamation facility for treatment. Technicians are also in the process of setting up to pump the wastewater to a nearby lift station.
It is expected that this pumping operation will begin by the close of business on Friday, and will continue through the weekend. Crews have also treated the stormwater pond with a light dosage of chlorine.
Crews will cut out the damaged section of pipe and will replace it with a new section of pipe late Monday night when wastewater flows are low. They will spend the next several days getting the site ready and getting all needed materials together.
The following are results from the second day of water quality testing. Samples were taken at approximately 12 noon on Thursday:
• Sample Point: Fecal Coliform, count/100ml or (Colony Forming Units)
• The background sample that was taken upstream of the incident area had 66 cfu/100ml.
Downstream of the spill the samples taken continue to show high levels of contamination:
• West side of the railroad bridge: 4500 cfu/100ml
• US 1 bridge: 2200 cfu/100ml
“We continue to recommend not swimming, fishing or allowing pets into the Eau Gallie River while levels are this high,” said Mall.
Daily water quality testing will continued to be performed both upstream and downstream of the break throughout the weekend. It takes 24 hours to get the results.
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