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36,000 gallons of untreated sewage spills into Siesta Key canal

The Lockwood Ridge Booster station failed, causing the sewage to spill into Grand Canal.

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  • | 11:10 a.m. July 10, 2019
  • Sarasota
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Nearly 36,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into Siesta Key’s Grand Canal after a lift station failure Tuesday afternoon. 

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Lockwood Ridge Booster station failed around 4:30 p.m., causing untreated wastewater to spill from the station into the Grand Canal. 

The department reports that after a valve on the Lockwood Ridge metering station was manually opened, some of the flow was diverted north, resulting in lower force. Additionally, increased flow from the Siesta Key master station helped stop the spill. 

Around 14,700 gallons were recovered, and lime was distributed in the vicinity of the station to help mitigate the effects of the spill, near 5200 Oakmont Place. Samples of the water were taken.  

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County issued a health advisory to residents and visitors in the area. People are encouraged to take precautions when in contact with Grand Canal waters because water contaminated with wastewater overflow presents several health risks to humans, such as gastrointestinal issues. 

Anyone who comes into contact with Grand Canal should wash thoroughly, particularly before eating or drinking, the Health Department reports. Children, older adults and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to disease. 

Sarasota County Utilities will now conduct water testing in Grand Canal and locations upstream and downstream of the spill location. The testing will continue until bacteria levels return to normal. 

For more information about the potential health effects of wastewater overflow, residents are encouraged to contact DOH-Sarasota at 941-861-6133.



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