Water Quality Bacteriological Tests To Begin Monday In South Patrick Drive Canal Sewage Spill

By  //  February 3, 2018

sewer break caused raw sewage to spill into canal system that flows into Indian River

ABOVE VIDEO: A sewer force main break caused about 375,000 gallons of raw sewage to spill into the canal system that flows into the Indian River Lagoon on Friday. (WFTV video)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORDIA – Water quality tests will begin Monday along South Patrick Drive in Satellite Beach, where a hole in a corroded sewage pipe led Friday to the leak of an estimated 375,000 gallons of raw sewage onto the ground, pavement and into a canal between Cinnamon Court and Island View Drive.

Once bacteriological levels are determined to be safe for recreation, residents in the area will be notified.

The canal flows between Island View Drive and Lansing Island Drive to Venetian Way. Warning signs have been posted in the area since early Friday.

Here is the sequence of events surrounding the leak:

  • Friday, 3:30 a.m. – On-call field crew employee received a phone call of water in road.
  • 4:30 a.m. – Employee confirmed a sewage spill likely from a force main break and notified his superintendent and wastewater manager.
  • 4:30 -7 a.m. – Contractor contacted to make repairs and additional crew members were called in. Crews determined which valves and lift stations would need to be turned off to stop sewage flow to break area. Tankers were called to appropriate lift stations to remove wastewater that would normally flow to the area. This was peak wastewater usage time when most people are showering and preparing for work, so flow was high. If crews had shut off valves and not set up tankers to remove flow to the lift stations the wastewater would have backed up into residential homes, schools, and businesses.
  • 7 – 8:45 a.m. – Contractor arrived on scene and gathered materials, employees and equipment needed to make the repair. Tankers arrived and crews isolated the area of the break. The sewage leak was stopped by 8:45 a.m. An estimated 375,000 gallons leaked from the sewer main, some down a storm drain to the canal between Island View Drive and Cinnamon Court. Additionally, at 8:18 a.m., crews posted contaminated water signs on South Patrick Drive, along canal and at entrances to area neighborhoods. At 8:32 a.m., a press release was issued to notify the media, residents and the public of the leak. The information was also posted on Brevard County Government and Emergency Management Facebook and Twitter sites.
  • 8:45 a.m. and on – Contractor excavated the site once utilities were located and caution was taken to ensure other lines were not damaged. Crews located the leak and the pipe was cleared of water. The leak was likely due to a defect that allowed gases inside the force main to corrode the outside of the iron pipe, which was installed 30 years ago and has a 90-year life span. This was only the second time a sewage overflow occurred in the ductile pipe in this area. Surrounding pipe was inspected and in good shape. DEP, the State Watch Office and the Pollution Notification website were notified as required. During the repair, tankers continuously hauled wastewater out of lift stations that were turned off. They recovered 20,000 gallons from the ground around the break/spill. It also was necessary to keep the area dry during the repair, therefore a hose was placed at the site and any groundwater and left over  wastewater that previously spilled was pumped down a storm drain.By the time this “dewatering” took place all wastewater had been diverted. There was a residual amount of leftover wastewater mixed with ground water that went down the storm drain while dewatering the site. That wastewater was part of the 375,000 gallons reported to DEP. The dewatering pump was turned off at 10:30 p.m. Friday.
  • 8:57 a.m. – Residents who live along the affected canal received reverse phone notifications through AlertBrevard.
  • 4:30 p.m. – Repair was completed and lift stations and valves were turned back on.
  • Saturday, Feb. 3 – Crews remained on site conducting cleanup in the area.