MIAMI – A no swim warning is still in effect for parts of Biscayne Bay Wednesday, two days after construction crews drilled through a 60-inch sewer main in downtown Miami.
The break led to a sewage spill, which was later capped, but not before some of it was able to impact the bay.
“Biscayne Bay is sort of exquisitely sensitive to nutrient pollution,” said Rachel Silverstein, of Miami Waterkeeper.
Silverstein monitors conditions in the bay and explained how raw sewage can affect an already fragile ecosystem.
“It brings not only bacteria, viruses and other kinds of pathogens and chemicals, but also this nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that’s really harming Biscayne Bay,” she said. “It results in the sea grass dying off, which we’ve seen, algae blooms and things like the fish kills we had last summer.”
As a result, officials have issued a no-swim advisory for waters south of the Julia Tuttle Causeway, down to Virginia Key, in between mainland Miami and the Intracoastal.
The warning will stay in effect until the health department can collect two consecutive days of clean water from the area.