Dangerous sewage spill concerns Broward residents

Pompano Beach residents fear consequences of water pollution in canal


POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Roberta Maugee said being outdoors at Pompano Beach's Garden Isles community is impossible now. She said it smells so terrible that she is gagging when she walks outside. 

Pauline Mann agrees. At first, she thought the smell was coming from a dead animal -- perhaps an iguana. There have been some dead turtles in the canal. 

"All kinds of dead fish have been popping up in the canal," Maugee said. "I have lived here all my life in Florida, and the water has never looked like that."

Residents are concerned about the impact of a raw sewage spill that prompted authorities to prohibit swimming or fishing in the canal. They also fear the polluted water has been creeping into other waterways and has damaged property. 

"These seawalls are porous," Maugee said. "All of that fecal matter is going in and out, in and out, underneath our properties."

Authorities said crews have been working since Saturday to cap the spill, after construction crews working for the Department of Transportation ruptured a 42-inch pressurized main sewer line at Northwest 15th Street. The spill sent raw sewage south and east toward the Intracoastal.

According to city officials, the workers received the parts they needed Wednesday to build a bypass pipe. They also poured concrete, which they say should be dry by Thursday and put a stop to the spill. Authorities have yet to release an assessment of the environmental impact. 

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