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UPDATE: Answers to questions about wastewater main break, spill and repairs

Post Date:11/17/2016 12:15 PM

Update: Nov. 17, 12:15 p.m. 

The following are answers to frequently asked questions about the Nov. 16 wastewater main break, spill and repair:

How is the public being notified?
              
  On Wednesday morning (Nov. 16), City staff began placing signs containing Department of Health recommended language that warn that high bacterial levels may pose a health risk for swimming and fishing. These are being placed in backyards, if accessible, along both sides of the river from where the break occurred near the Apollo Bridge moving eastward, ending at Ballard Park. As a result of regular news releases from the City, the television and print media continue to provide extensive coverage. Updated information is regularly posted on the City of Melbourne’s web site and through its Facebook and Twitter pages.

How many gallons of wastewater leaked as a result of the break?
                The damage resulted in four, approximately 2-inch diameter holes. The estimated quantity of wastewater that leaked into the Eau Gallie River is between 300,000-400,000 gallons. Work continues to verify this estimate.

When and how will it be removed from the stormwater retention pond?

                There is no timeframe yet because repairs are not yet complete.

Is testing being done?
                Yes. Testing was performed both upstream and downstream of the break. The first set of test results should be available this afternoon. Testing will continue today and tomorrow. It takes 24 hours to get the results.

Is the FDEP assisting?
                The City is in frequent contact with officials from the FDEP and following their guidance for sampling and reporting.

Is it safe to swim in the Eau Gallie River?
                Not recommended at this time.

Is it safe to eat fish caught from the Eau Gallie River?
                Not recommended at this time.

Is it safe for my dogs to play in the water in the Eau Gallie River?
                Not recommended at this time.

Are there any health concerns from being in the neighborhood and smelling it or being close to the pond?
                No.

How long will the smell last?
                The smell should continue to dissipate, but may not be completely gone until all work is finished.

When will the wastewater be removed from the stormwater pond?

                There is not yet a time frame on when it will be removed because the repair has not been completed.

Will the contractor be penalized?
                This issue is under determination.

 

Update: Nov. 17, 7:15 a.m.

The leak is contained, and all wastewater flows are going to the retention pond.

Engineers are working on a plan that will entail cutting out the damaged section of pipe and replacing it.

We do not have an estimated timeframe for when this will be completed.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

 

Update: Nov. 16, 9:30 p.m.

Wastewater flow to the river stopped at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Crews have almost completed repairs but one of the repair clamps is not sealing properly. They are working to fix it.

The pipe is leaking somewhat but not at the volume that it was.

We are still estimating repairs will be completed by midnight tonight, but there could still be some unknown factors that could affect this timeline.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

 

Update: Nov. 16, 4 p.m.

Crews are working to stabilize the hole around the ruptured wastewater main. Once the sides are stabilized, they will connect a pump and will begin to divert the wastewater into a nearby stormwater retention pond.

When the hole is clear, they will then be able to begin repairs to the wastewater main.

The wastewater that goes into the stormwater pond will be removed and taken to the treatment plant.

We are estimating repairs will be completed by midnight tonight, but there are a number of unknown factors that could affect this timeline.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

 

Original Story: Nov. 16, 9:40 a.m.

Yesterday (Nov. 15) at 4:30 p.m. while a City of Melbourne contractor was drilling under the Eau Gallie River to install a new 20” Reclaimed Water Main, they accidentally hit a 16” wastewater force main in the same location, causing wastewater to spill from the rupture.

The contractor and City of Melbourne personnel worked through the night to contain the flow of wastewater and attempted to repair the wastewater main, but because it was located approximately 11 feet underground, a larger piece of equipment was needed than was available last night.

The required equipment was delivered this morning, and work is again underway to complete the repair.

Due to the location of the break along the bank on the south side of the Eau Gallie River, just east of the Apollo Blvd bridge, wastewater has been entering the Eau Gallie River intermittently since the damage occurred.

We do not currently have an estimate of the amount of wastewater that has spilled into the river.

City staff are in contact with Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Updates on the situation will be provided as more information becomes available.

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