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Fort Lauderdale's New River turns muddy brown again

City investigates whether construction site is blame

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The New River in Fort Lauderdale has turned a muddy brown color for the second time this summer.

Chaz Adams, a spokesman for the city of Fort Lauderdale, said the issue is caused by mud and other debris getting into storm drains near Andrews Avenue bridge.

"The pumps help keep the downtown area dry by pumping water from the storm drains into the New River," Adams said. "Unfortunately, if dirt, sand or mud find their way into the storm drain system, it can mix with the water and be pushed out into the New River when the pumps are turned on, creating a muddy plume."

Adams said the city sent environmental inspectors to nearby construction sites to determine whether unauthorized materials made their way in the river.

In an initial review, the inspectors said the discharge was likely silt and construction dirt and not hazardous.

City inspectors visited a construction site on Wednesday after the New River turned a muddy brown.
City inspectors visited a construction site on Wednesday after the New River turned a muddy brown.

In late July, the city cited DP Development and its construction site near Southeast Second Street and Southeast Fourth Avenue for creating a similar discharge along the New River.

The city stopped work at the site until the developer fixed its storm drains. The river cleared up a few days later.

Adams said at the time that the discharge was not hazardous.