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Broken Pipe Causes Sewage Spill In Clearwater

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About 150,000 gallons of sewage spilled early Tuesday in Clearwater on McMullen Booth Road near the intersection of Abby Crescent Lane.

The spill, caused by a broken pipe, seeped onto a nearby property and into Alligator Creek.

David Porter, the public utilities director for Clearwater, said the spill was caused by a broken pipe underground:

"The spill was curtailed immediately upon the time that we found it by simply turning off the pump and closing the valve,” Porter said.

A forcemain pipeline, or fitting, failed on the lift station outlet that is located below a concrete slab. The  sewage flowed over land and onto the adjacent property where there’s duplex home. From there, it flowed into Alligator Creek.

The duplex structure next to where the spill occurred was not affected. No sewage reached the structure and the sewage was confined to the area along a fence line and then along Alligator Creek itself.

“The city of Clearwater is very diligent in taking care of our equipment and monitoring for this type of issue,” Porter said. “This is not normal for us.”

“ We rarely have this type of event but like any other mechanical equipment, there are times when it’s going to fail when you least expect it. And when it does, we do everything we can to mitigate any risk of damage and we immediately repair it.”

The city is working with a contractor to fix the pipe.

Gov. Rick Scott this week ordered new public notification rules after a sewage spill in Pinellas County and a sinkhole south of Lakeland that sent toxins into the drinking-water supply.

Porter said utilities notified city administrators, elected officials, state agencies and local media per the new 24-hour notice rule. They also attempted to notify the owners of the duplex.