Pompano Beach officials try to clear the air over sewage spill

Residents pack meeting seeking answers to when the smell will abate

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Pompano Beach and state officials met with residents Wednesday night to update them on the city's progress in cleaning up a massive sewage spill that has fouled canals and created a noxious stench.

The spill was caused when a construction crew working for the Department of Transportation ruptured a 42-inch pressurized main sewer line at Northwest 15th Street earlier this month. The spill sent raw sewage south and east toward the Intracoastal, killing many fish and wildlife that call the canals home.

The pipe was repaired Saturday, but the mess in the water and smell remain.

On Wednesday, officials said they have placed more than 70 aerators into the water to provide oxygen to help filter the water and mitigate the smell. Crews in boats have also been removing larger debris from the canals.

The city said the results of bacterial tests continue to decrease daily, which is a good sign for the health of the water. However, the city warns residents to avoid contact with the water in the canals until the cleanup is complete.