BRADENTON -- A raw sewage spill from a broken pipe was stopped about 1 a.m. Wednesday, more than 13 hours after the break sent the muck into storm drains and into the Manatee River, according to the city of Bradenton.
At 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, the pipe apparently broke without warning, sending a geyser of sewage spewing 3 feet into the air. It continued all day and into the night, flooding some of the low-lying areas around the city's wastewater treatment plant on 17th Avenue West at U.S. 301.
A cause for the break had not been determined.
Here is a timeline provided by the city of what happened:
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11:15 a.m. : City employee notices a geyser of sewage coming up at the city’s sewage treatment plant. City workers estimate that 4,500 gallons a minute were gushing from an underground pipe. Employees immediately notified the state.
11:20 a.m. Wastewater spilling on to 17th Avenue and into the city’s storm drains.
11:30 a.m. City closes 17th Avenue to all traffic
11:45 a.m. City workers build dirt berms to prevent the sewage from spilling onto private property.
12:30 p.m. The city orders line stops to stop flow within the broken pipe. A West Palm Beach company, the nearest contractor, promises to arrive within five hours.
4 p.m. County posts no swimming, fishing or jet ski signs along the Manatee River in the downtown area.
10 p.m. Final piece of equipment arrives from West Palm Beach after a truck breaks down on the drive to Bradenton.
Wednesday:1 a.m. City stops the flow of sewage, estimates that 3.5 million gallons of wastewater spilled into the Manatee River.
8 a.m. City begins a series of water quality tests in the river