Major sewer line break spills millions of gallons near Sarasota Bay in Manatee County

Major sewer line break spills millions of gallon of wastewater in Manatee County.
Major sewer line break spills millions of gallon of wastewater in Manatee County.(WWSB)
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 9:56 PM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Longboat Key town officials say up to twenty-six million gallons could have spilled near Sarasota Bay from a major sewer line break.

That could be the impact from the sewer line going from Longboat Key, under Sarasota Bay to a wastewater treatment facility in Bradenton. It took place on Monday about a hundred yards from the bay on the Aqua By the Bay property on El Conquistador Parkway. Town officials say it happened on a pipe that’s around 50-years-old.

“We thought it had at least another twenty years of life, however we had been planning and preparing for a replacement of a redundant pipe over the next ten-year period, so this was a bit unexpected,” said Isaac Brownman, Public Works Director for Longboat Key.

Longboat Key resident Rusty Chinnis says a break like this is very concerning. He’s very proactive with different environmental groups, pushing to keep our water clean for future generations.

“It’s pretty scary, the fact is it’s right there going right at Sarasota Bay,” said Chinnis. “Most cases we have these spills it’s inland. They end up getting into things, getting into canals, eventually getting into the bay, this basically is right by the bay.”

Town officials say it’s not yet known if any of the wastewater got into the bay. Testing is being done now. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection has been notified of the spill. Crews from Longboat Key and Manatee County are helping contractors fix the break.

“We had to determine what is the nature of the break and can it be clamped or does a section of pipe need to be replaced” said Brownman. “Right now what we’re hearing from our contractors is that a section of pipe needs to be replaced.”

It could be a few more days before this is fully repaired. In the meantime, Longboat Key residents are being urged to conserve as much water as they can.

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