Polluted lake in Holmes Beach will see a cleanup in the near future

Updated: Feb. 5, 2019 at 11:11 AM EST
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HOLMES BEACH (WWSB) - People who live on or near Spring Lake in Holmes Beach say the lake has gone from very clear to very dirty. There continues to be a strong push to get it all cleaned up.

Back in 2015, more than 22,000 gallons of raw sewage dumped into the lake after a Manatee County storm pipe collapsed. Residents say the water has been murky and polluted ever since. Holmes Beach city engineer Lynn Burnett recently met with Southwest Florida Water Management to talk about options to clean up the lake. It’s something the city is very close to making reality.

“There’s about three foot of muck in there and sediments now mixed in with some lovely sewage as well," said Burnett. "Step one would be dredging it out and also installing an aeration system on it.”

Although there are now signs of fish and other wildlife returning to the lake, the pollution had killed hundreds of fish. Longtime resident Bob McCaffrey’s home sits right on the lake. He tells us it’s been tough having to live with these lake issues.

“We would see scum and what used to be heron, egrets, fish jumping we had everything from snook, red snapper and everything else in here and they disappeared" said McCaffrey. "To me and the wife we lost that whole view, we lost everything.”

McCaffrey says he’s happy to hear the city now being proactive when it comes to having this lake cleaned once and for all.

“Whatever works to get the animals and the rest of the vegetation and everything else back to normal, I would appreciate tremendously,” said McCaffrey.

If all goes according to plan, city officials say dredging of this lake could take place within the next year and the project would last around four months. The funding for all this still needs to be worked out.

The options for cleaning up Spring Lake will be talked about at the commissioners meeting on Tuesday February 26th.

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