Utility crews and a Hollywood-based contractor completed the installation of a bypass valve at 2:30 a.m. this morning that stopped a 20-inch forcemain sewer leak at 34 S. Gulfstream Avenue, right in front of Dolphin Tower.
Crews rotated and worked more than 24 hours to stop the leak.
The leak, which was reported at 2:30 a.m. the previous morning, created a large pool of sewer water on Gulfstream Avenue stretching almost from Main Street to Ringling Boulevard.
Despite the large amount of water that continues to pool, city of Sarasota Public Information Officer Jan Thornburg said “the leak looked worse than it really was.”
A fleet of pumper trucks worked around the clock to transfer the sewer water to the city’s nearby water treatment center. More than 1 million gallons of untreated wastewater was hauled to the plant in the last 24 hours.
City staff is not sure at this time what caused the forcemain to break and expect to replace the portion of the broken pipe in the next day or so.
The sewer line had been tagged by the city’s Utilities Division for replacement this year and bids for the project will go out soon to prevent further problems. It is estimated that 40,000 gallons of sewer water may have reached the bay prior to the containment. Utilities Director Javier Vargas said his staff worked nonstop to keep any more of the water from entering the bay.
The broken line is scheduled to be replaced this current fiscal year. Design plans are nearly complete and the contract bid process will begin soon. The replacement is part of an ongoing effort to add more resources to an aging infrastructure system. The City Commission recently allocated $15 million over 10 years to the comprehensive project with forcemains and lift stations receiving the highest priority.
For more information contact Vargas at 955-2325, ext. 6210.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].