Pipe break sends 80,000 gallons of waste water into Ware’s Creek in Bradenton

An 18-inch force main waste water line erupted some time around midnight in Ballard Park, spilling an estimated 80,000 gallons of waste water through the storm water system and into Ware’s Creek.

Public works crews were able to stop the leakage around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. Septage trucks worked through the night to pump out the lift station near Eighth Avenue West and 17th Street Court West. Contractors were on hand first thing Tuesday morning to begin the excavation work for repairs.

Workers on the scene could not say what caused the break, but they speculated that a clog may have occurred. The ensuing pressure may have caused the aging line to burst.

“I could hear them working last night,” said nearby resident Amber Green, who moved into her new rental house two days ago. “The water in the toilet was kind of going up and down so I knew there had to be an issue with the sewer line.”

The good news is that there was little to no odor from the broken line but the breakage forced the closing of Eighth Avenue West to 15th Street West; and 17th Street Court West was closed from Eighth Avenue West to Ballard Park Drive.

Crews said the line should be rerouted and sewer service should resume by the end of the day Tuesday, but the permanent repairs will take a few days. Jeannie Roberts, the city’s communications manager, reported the road closures will remain in place until at least Friday.

“The state has been notified of the situation, per state requirements,” Roberts said. “A sampling program has been initiated. Sampling will be performed over several days.”

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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