Collapsed Sewer Line Causes Spillage
On Monday, February 20, 2023, during a routine inspection, city staff located a sewer issue at the 1800 block of East Park Avenue. Upon investigation, it was determined that a bypass pump suction line elevation was not adequate to handle the oncoming flow and surcharged the collection system. City staff and a local contractor worked around the clock to make the adjustments and stop the spill. An estimated 171,750 gallons of sewer was released into the wetland watershed area adjacent to Knights Creek. City staff immediately began cleanup and disinfecting at the overflow location. All appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified, and warning signs have been posted.
Preventing sewer spills has been, and will continue to be, the city’s top priority through the ongoing Collection System Rehab Program, which includes Manhole Rehab, the Smoke Testing Program, Sewer Main Lining, and Sewer Main Replacement. In addition, the Utilities Department has an ongoing River Sampling Program that tests waters at different locations down the Withlacoochee River and has continued to install generators at the lift stations to ensure uninterrupted operation during power failures.
In addition to the programs listed above, in 2020, the Utilities Department initiated two additional programs, The “Creek Crossing” program, and the “Cap the Cleanout” program, to help locate Infiltration and Inflow in the Collection System as well. These programs are designed to specifically check each manhole and/or sewer line on or near water to verify proper operation and to ensure each house has their cleanout cap installed, and the cleanout is in working order.
The city will continue its ongoing efforts to improve the infrastructure of the sewer system to eliminate these issues in the future. For more information, contact Scott Fowler, Environmental Manager at the Utilities Department, at 229-259-3592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.