City of Tallahassee investigating 11,550 gallon sewage spill
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Environmentalists are raising concerns after 11,550 gallons of sewage spilled in a neighborhood off West Tharpe St. in Tallahassee.
The city says the spill Monday is the fourth major one so far this year.
One resident, Braxten Marshall, said he was walking around his neighborhood Monday night when he saw water flooding the street.
“Out of nowhere, boom, a lot of water came up from the sewage drain,” Marshall said. “It filled up the street in a matter of minutes, like really fast, and then cars on the street were kind of stuck. It smelled pretty bad.”
The city says heavy rain that night caused flooding, which overwhelmed the sewer system.
That caused water to burst out of a manhole cover and into the street. Marshall estimates three inches of wastewater covered the road, and that it was there for a few hours before subsiding.
David Roberts, who works with the City of Tallahassee Water Production and Reclamation, says the city is testing for E.coli in waterways downstream from the spill.
“We’re taking additional samples down at the dam where Munson slough crosses Capital Circle just before it discharges to Lake Munson.”
Environmental advocate, Terry Ryan, is worried this spill contribute to algae blooms that have plagued Lake Munson for years.
“That’s what we’re concerned about-- is that these kinds of spills eventually get into Lake Munson,” Ryan said.
But, Roberts says, in the days following the spill, the city hasn’t detected any abnormal levels of bacteria.
“No elevation so far in the samples that we’ve collected since first thing Tuesday morning,” Roberts said.
Roberts said ultraviolet light from sunshine, along with bugs in the water, helps to break down bacteria from sewage water and contain the spill naturally.
He also said the city continuously cleans and inspects sewage pipes to help prevent spills from happening.
According to Roberts, Tallahassee has seen a 90% reduction in sewer spills since 2008.
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