Thursday, May 12, 2016

Brevard County Explains Wastewater Discharges

Brown Algae In The Indian River Lagoon



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Utility Services detailed in a press release the three wastewater discharges that have occurred in 2016.

The first discharge occurred at the Barefoot Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant in February 2016. Operator error allowed 281,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater to enter a canal which flows four miles to the San Sebastian River - a tributary to the Indian River Lagoon in south Brevard County. According to the County, the 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 discharge occurred at the South Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in Viera, Florida. During that event, the water was diverted to holding ponds which were already near capacity. The subsequent overflow resulted in 1.5 million gallons of treated reclaimed water being discharged into 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, the County explained. A consent order was issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection 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. The County explained that the 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 located nine feet deep into the ground. Utility staff and two underground contractors worked non-stop for 38 hours. After the first 24 hours, the ability to store and/or haul sewage was exhausted, so the County made the decision 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.

Photo credit: FWC