Fort Lauderdale residents frustrated after recent sewage main breaks

Residents concerned about possible health hazards

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Over a hundred Fort Lauderdale residents gathered inside the Rio Vista Community Church following four major sewer main breaks in the city.

“Thankfully sewage is no longer being discharged into our waters, however, hundreds of millions of gallons, potentially, were already discharged and there is a long term effect on the health of our waterways,” said Rio Vista resident Kevin Cochrane.

While the breaks have since been repaired, residents are concerned about possible health hazards after waterways like the Tarpon River, New River and the Himmarshee Canal, where contaminated with sewage.

“People are on their paddleboards, people are in their kayaks, people are fishing, people are crabbing, and we know that these waters are hazardous to human health,” said Cochrane.

In the meeting, residents brought up the issue of signage, asking city commissioner Ben Sorensen and city manager Chris Lagerbloom for daily water quality alerts.

“There were almost 50 signs that were deployed in areas that were affected that we wanted to keep people out of the water so I will have a map hopefully in the morning. We will look to see if there are any deficiencies,” said Lagerbloom.

With clean up efforts underway, residents also worry the current infrastructure won’t be able to handle the future building of family homes and apartment buildings.

“Everybody seems to be a little bit frustrated. I am too. I am too. You know it is years of pipes that have just aged and now we are dealing with it,” said Lagerbloom.

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