FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Crews in Fort Lauderdale began working early Monday morning after responding to a sewer main break in George English Park. It is the 11th water or sewer main break since December in the city.
It happened in the parking lot of George English Park, along 1101 Bayview Drive, just off Sunrise Boulevard.
Bayview Drive is closed north of Sunrise Boulevard. Drivers should avoid the area and seek alternate routes.
On Monday afternoon, crews were working to stop the rushing sewage water before they could start digging and get to the root of the problem. The break may be in a 14-inch sewer line that is connected to a nearby pumping station, according to authorities.
“Right now we’ve called in additional resources. We have tanker and vacuum trucks out here trying to remove the discharge from Bayview Drive and we also have crews coming in that will begin excavation work,” said Chaz Adams, public information officer, City of Fort Lauderdale.
Adams sent an update at 6:30 p.m. which stated that “crews continue to remove discharge from Bayview Drive between Sunrise Boulevard and NE 11 Street using pumps and up to 17 tanker and vacuum trucks.” He said that excavation work is expected to begin later Monday night and that the repair plan will consist of digging two construction pits: one to the north and one to the south of the break. “Two line stops will be installed along with a bypass line which will redirect flow around the damaged section of pipe. Once the bypass line is in place and activated, the full section of 14-inch pipe will be removed and replaced with a new, larger 16-inch pipe,” according to the update.
The equipment needed for the installation of the line stops and bypass line is expected to arrive on site Tuesday, according to Adams
This is just the latest in a series of sewer main breaks in Fort Lauderdale that have led to the city being fined almost $1.8 million by the state of Florida in an effort to pressure them into stopping these spills.
Fort Lauderdale’s sewage spills are the worst on record in Florida history, according to state officials.
Adams stated that the breaks are unlikely to stop soon.
“Pipes tend to break for a variety of reasons. Obviously it could be age, it could be pressure, it could be corrosion from salt water, it could be a bad valve. There are a number of different reasons that it happens, so it’s difficult to pinpoint one reason,” said Adams.
City leaders are aware that the infrastructure in the area is a problem, but they said to get it under control it will take a long time. Not far from Monday morning’s break, there was another line that ruptured weeks ago. Local 10 learned that there are two crews now in the process of replacing that line, but it is expected to take 18 months to complete.
As far as Monday’s break, the city said there will be no service interruptions for residents or businesses.
Fort Lauderdale sewer and water main breaks:
1. December 10, 2019, Ponce de Leon Drive and SE 11th Street, Rio Vista.
2. December 20, 2019, near Virginia Young Park at SE 10th Street and SE 9th Avenue, Rio Vista.
3. December 21, 2019, Himmarshee Canal, near SE 2 St. and SE 9th Avenue, Beverly Heights.
4. December 27, 2019, close to the intersection of NE 5th Street and NE 17th Avenue, Victoria Park.
5. December 30, 2019, NE 36 Street, east of Bayview Drive, Coral Ridge Country Club Estates neighborhood.
6. January 15, 2020, 12-inch water main break, Victoria Park neighborhood.
7. January 30, 2020, George English Park at 1101 Bayview Drive, off of Sunrise Boulevard.
8. February 2, 2020, 16-inch water main pipe broke in front of the Jackson Tower Condos of Fort Lauderdale, 100 S. Birch Road.
9. February 3, 2020, sewer main break, Harbor Beach neighborhood.
10. February 8, 2020, 6-inch water main rupture, New River near Southwest Seventh Street.
11. February 24, 2020, George English Park, 1101 Bayview Drive, off of Sunrise Boulevard.
-Bayview Drive is closed in both directions from south of NE 11 Street to Sunrise Boulevard.
-Motorists can use NE 25th Avenue and NE 11th Street as a detour route.
-Motorists picking up students at Bayview Elementary should expect heavy traffic and delays.
-To view a map of the road closures, please visit http://bit.ly/2SRnv0O.
Recreational Waterway Advisory
-To view a map of the waterway advisory, visit https://bit.ly/3a2zUF6.
The city has set up a hotline for anyone with questions. Call Fort Lauderdale’s 24-hour Neighbor Call Center at 954-828-8000.