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Work continues in Fort Lauderdale neighborhood days after sewage main break

Millions of gallons of wastewater has spilled since Tuesday’s break

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Repair efforts are still underway in Fort Lauderdale days after a sewer main break.

Since the problem began on Tuesday, millions of gallons of sewage wastewater has been spilling into a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood and nearby waterways.

In an update provided by the City of Fort Lauderdale, several adjustments have been made while crews work to repair the 54-inch break.

Here are some notes from a news release issued Sunday evening:

Site operations and containment

  • Work continued through the day maintaining containment of the sewer main break discharge.
  • A 12-inch pump that was experiencing mechanical issues was replaced with a backup 12-inch pump that was staged and ready on site.
  • Five additional pumps are in the process of being deployed to the site to serve as additional backups in the event they are needed.
  • Crews continued to clean and sanitize the street, sidewalk, and driveways on the south side of Ponce de Leon Drive.
  • A street sweeper is scheduled to be on site tomorrow to conduct additional cleaning and maintenance on the south side of Ponce de Leon Drive, Carmena Drive, as well as the northeast branch of Ponce de Leon Drive.
  • Tanker and vacuum truck operations continued to remove discharge and transport it to other parts of the wastewater collection system.
  • Pumps and diverters continued to move discharge from catch basins and manholes in the affected area to sewer lines north and south of the break.
  • Repair activities
  • The parts needed for the contractor to begin the repair have arrived from Texas sooner than expected and have been delivered to the site.
  • Main parts include two pipe tapping saddles measuring 54 inches by 36 inches and two additional relief valve saddles, measuring 54 inches by 2 inches.
  • The larger pipe tapping saddles will be used to hold a bypass that will be built around the damaged portion of the 54-inch pipe and the smaller saddles will be used to relieve pressure on the pipe once line stops are installed in the pipe.
  • The contractor is working to prepare both the eastern and western portions of the pipe so that it will be ready for the installation of the saddles.
  • The contractor and city staff will discuss plans and review a series of detailed steps that will take place to efficiently accomplish the repair process.

Environmental cleanup and aeration

  • Environmental cleanup crews continued work along the south side of Ponce de Leon Drive in the vicinity of Hector Park. Activities included disinfection, power washing, and street and sidewalk cleaning.
  • 10 aerators are operating in the Tarpon River and New River to help improve water quality by improving oxygen levels in the water, increasing circulation, breaking down organic matter in the discharge, and helping to control odor.
  • Three marine vessels conducted skimming and debris removal on the waterways in the affected area today and will continue to operate on a daily basis.

Road closure

  • Ponce de Leon Drive remains closed between SE 9 Avenue and SE 12 Way while the work progresses.

Precautionary advisory

  • A precautionary advisory for recreational activities in local waterways remains in effect.
  • The boundaries are Broward Boulevard to the north, Poinciana Drive to the east, SE 15 Street to the south and SW 18 Avenue to the west.
  • People and businesses should avoid swimming, fishing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, canoeing or engaging in any water-related activities within these boundaries.

View a map of the precautionary advisory area.


Fort Lauderdale sewage main break affected areas.
Fort Lauderdale sewage main break affected areas. (WPLG)

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