By-pass pipe stops sewage spill in Pompano Beach

Residents say they have been consumed by odor for nearly a week

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Cleanup continues Thursday after a sewage line ruptured in Pompano Beach.

It's left people frustrated who live nearby, because of the stench, but relief may come soon.

City officials said a by-pass pipe was fully connected Thursday, stopping the sewage from spilling into the canal system.

The mess was left behind after construction crews working for the Florida Department of Transportation reportedly ruptured a 42-inch pressurized main sewer line. 

Authorities in Pompano Beach warned residents Friday about a leaking sewage pipe that polluted a canal flowing from Interstate 95 to Lake Santa Barbara.

Residents in the area said the smell arrived by Saturday.

"It smells. It smells terrible. When you take out the garbage, I'm gagging," Pompano Beach homeowner Roberta Maugee said. 

According to a Florida Department of Environmental Protection report, three attempts have been made to repair the 2.5-foot hole in the line, but there had been no success so far.

A by-pass pipe has since been built and crews put it in place Thursday, stopping the spill. 

Aerators, meanwhile, are in the canals to minimize odor as crews pull dead fish from the water.

The environmental impact is not yet known.

Pompano Beach officials said they are working with local and state regulators to make sure all environmental concerns are addressed. 

Crews are working around the clock to cleanup the spill spanning from Northwest 15th Street east to the Intracoastal Waterway.

"All that fecal matter is going in and out, in and out underneath our properties," Maugee said. 

City officials said they want to make sure everyone knows city drinking water was not affected during the spill.

They are asking people not swim or fish in the affected areas at this time.

It's unclear for how long the cleanup will last.