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Heavy rains caused multiple sanitary sewer overflows in Manatee. Here’s a full list

Intense rain causes Bradenton sewage problems. Take a look

Intense rainfall is overwhelming local sewer systems in Manatee County. A portion of Ninth Street West in Bradenton was closed because of an underground stormwater pipe failure. Elsewhere, a sewage cleanout drained excess water into the street
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Intense rainfall is overwhelming local sewer systems in Manatee County. A portion of Ninth Street West in Bradenton was closed because of an underground stormwater pipe failure. Elsewhere, a sewage cleanout drained excess water into the street

Troublesome amounts of rainfall over the last several days in Manatee County kept public works officials busy after multiple sewage line overflows.

In July, the area saw 15 inches of rain. An additional 11.98 inches of rainfall was recorded at a Wares Creek measuring station in the last week, Public Works director Jim McLellan said.

When there is a flash-flood situation after storms, there is an expectation of some sanitary system overflows, said Amy Pilson, public affairs liaison for Manatee County Utilities.

“We do anticipate there being more rain this week and with the ground being so saturated, there is potential for some flash flooding in areas, so I will continue to monitor high-water alarms at lift stations,” Pilson said.

When the alarm sounds for high-water levels, crews send tankers to pump and remove water in an effort to prevent overflows. But if water levels are already high, residents can minimize use of their water systems to help keep the system from being inundated.

Pilson said residents should also not lift manholes or remove cleanouts to try to mitigate flooding.

For now, the City of Bradenton is caught up with the rainfall, McLellan said. The stormwater system, he said, is fine and crews continue to work on a blockage in the sewer system.

The City of Palmetto issued a voluntary reduction notice to residents to minimize potable water use during the rainy days, recommending waiting to wash clothes or run the dishwasher to lessen the burden on the sanitary system.

Multiple incidents reported last week were because of significant rainfall causing the collection system to surcharge.

Fifteen people were displaced after a residence flooded, according to Friday morning email from Steve Litschauer, chief of Manatee County Emergency Management.

A second home with an unknown number of residents was also reported flooded. The American Red Cross assisted three families in mobile homes with lodging and provided financial assistance to two families in mobile homes, the email noted.

Spills reported to Florida Department of Environmental Protection between Aug. 12 and Aug. 16 include:

  • At 9 a.m. on Aug. 16, Manatee County lift station staff became aware of a sanitary sewer overflow in the 4000 block of Riverview Boulevard in Bradenton. A manhole was discharging and flowing into a stormwater drain. Estimated discharge was greater than 1,000 gallons.
  • At 7 a.m. on Aug. 16, Manatee County Collections System staff became aware of a sanitary sewer overflow in the 5000 block of 30th Street West in Bradenton. Estimated discharge was greater than 1,000 gallons.
  • At 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 16, Manatee County Lift Station staff became aware of a sanity sewer overflow in the 3800 block of U.S. 301 in Ellenton. Staff found additional manholes in Tidevue Estates were also overflowing in the 1400 block of 41st Avenue East. Estimated discharge was great than 1,000 gallons.
  • At 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 15, Manatee County Lift Station staff found a sanitary sewer overflow in the 7700 block of Terra Siesta Boulevard in Ellenton. Staff found a manhole discharging onto the ground and flowing into a canal that runs along the west side of the property. Estimated discharge was great than 1,000 gallons.
  • At 11 a.m. on Aug. 14, Manatee County Utilities Department Collections system staff reported a sanitary sewer overflow in the 3200 block of 21st Street East in Bradenton. Staff discovered five manholes and several cleanouts in the immediate area discharging wastewater. This is believed to be because of rainfall as well as a suspected homeowner draining his property through a cleanout. Estimated discharge was 70,000 gallons.
  • At 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 14, the bypass valves for the denitrification filters in the City of Bradenton Water Reclamation Facility Bypass were opened because the filters became plugged and were overflowing.
  • At 11 p.m.on Aug. 13, Manatee County Utilities Department staff reported a reclaimed water leak in the 6000 block of 34th Street West in Bradenton. Staff discovered a break in a 16-inch PVC reclaimed water main that was discharging reclaimed water to a storm water drain which ultimately discharges into Sarasota Bay. The discharge was stopped and repairs made to the main. Estimated discharge was 180,000 gallons.

Pilson said there was also a reported sanitary sewer overflow reported Saturday in Trailer Estates, where the discharge was estimated at 15,000 gallons.

County officials also announced Saturday that a small part of Ninth Street West was temporarily closed because of underground stormwater pipe failure. The road has re-opened.

Palmetto didn’t have much flooding but saw overflow from the sanitary sewer system in three to four manholes between 20th and 25th avenues, said Allen Tusing, the city’s Public Works director. They are currently testing canals.

In Bradenton, a raw sewage spill flowed through a subdivision Saturday morning. A City of Bradenton crew set up sandbags around a manhole to contain the spill, but a sewage cleanout in the 2700 block of 22nd Avenue West spilled into the street, draining into a nearby stormwater drain.

McLellan said crews learned it was caused by a blockage and were back in the area Monday.

In an email to City of Bradenton Councilman Patrick Roff, a firefighter and new homeowner expressed concern over the sewage spill.

“I understand the amount of rain we have received has been more than normal but from what the neighbors said this isn’t a new problem,” the email stated. “This is our dream home and we are so excited to have a front yard for our child to play in. I can’t let my child play in the front yard till I can clean up the toilet paper and mentally think that the hazard of her playing in raw sewage is gone.”

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