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36,000 gallons of raw sewage spills into Siesta Key canal, DEP says

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About 36,000 gallons of raw sewage has leaked into the Grand Canal from a lift station near Siesta Key, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

“The Lockwood Ridge booster station designed to relieve the high force main pressure from the Siesta Key Master Lift Station failed, resulting in the master station spilling approximately 36,000 gallons into the Grand Canal,” a DEP report states. “Approximately 14,700 gallons recovered.”

According to the report, public works officials were able to manually open a valve at the Lockwood Ridge metering station, diverting some of the flow north. That lowered the force main pressures and stopped the spill.

The report states the spill was stopped at around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, but does not indicate when the sewage first began spilling into the canal.

The location of the spill is a decommissioned treatment facility that is no longer in service, according to Sarasota County officials and is scheduled to be demolished at some point in the future.

Authorities were able to get lime down onto the affected areas immediately after the spill.

The Grand Canal is a 10-mile long system of shallow canals that run within residential areas and spills into Roberts Bay, as well as the Gulf of Mexico.

There was no immediate indication on how much of the sewage may, or may have already, reached the gulf.

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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