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Sewer main burst spews raw sewage, closes several blocks in Fort Lauderdale

54-inch sewer main break affects Rio Vista neighborhood at Ponce de Leon Drive, Southeast 11th Street

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A raw sewage water spill closed several blocks in a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood after a sewer main burst.

Just after noon Tuesday, a 54-inch sewer main break ruptured near Ponce de Leon Drive and Southeast 11th Street in the Rio Vista neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, officials said.

City officials believe the cause of the rupture is related to the age and condition of the pipe, which is estimated to have been built in the 1970s.

According to city officials, a contractor was immediately dispatched and working to repair the break that shut down nearly three blocks with repair efforts expected to continue overnight.

The plan, according to Mayor Dean Trantalis, is to install a clamp to plug the hole in the pipe and if that doesn’t work then crews will install a bypass clamp to redirect the wastewater flow.

In addition to personnel in vacuum trucks attempting to extract the overflowing sewage water, crews were also being dispatched to placed sandbags in front of homes to keep the wastewater from entering surrounding homes, Trantalis said.

As an added precaution to the water main break at Ponce De Leon Drive, officials have added an advisory to surrounding waterways urging residents to exercise caution or avoid water-related activities until further notice.
As an added precaution to the water main break at Ponce De Leon Drive, officials have added an advisory to surrounding waterways urging residents to exercise caution or avoid water-related activities until further notice.

There was no threat to drinking water, however residents in the area are encourage to reduce water usage, officials said.

As a precaution, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is advising the public to avoid swimming, fishing, jet-skiing or other water-related activities in nearby waterways, including: New River west to Southeast Second Avenue, Tarpon River, Lake Juanita, Rio Granada, Rio Alcazar and Rio Valencia.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials were also being dispatched as impacts on local wildlife is expected, Trantalis said.

City officials are also reminding anyone who comes in contact with the raw sewage to clean their hands with warm soap and water or hand sanitizer.

If residents in the area have any questions, they are encouraged to call the City of Fort Lauderdale’s 24-hour Neighbor Call Center at 954-828-8000.


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