ECUA/City/FDEP Team Discovers a Source of Contamination
In the course of investigative work for the Downtown/Bruce Beach “Sleuthing” project, debris was discovered in the storm drain at Garden and Spring Streets. This location is the immediate upstream area of testing that revealed E.coli from human sources detected in the Spring Street storm sewer. The City of Pensacola, FDEP, and ECUA contributed to ultimately locating this point source.
This discovery led ECUA to conduct further investigative work of the sanitary sewer in that area and we observed a section of non-conforming main in the sewer line. ECUA immediately scheduled an emergency repair/replacement project last Wednesday, and once the line was excavated, the deficiency became evident. In the mid-90’s, an FDOT storm drain was installed around the ECUA main and, the ECUA’s 8-inch diameter gravity sewer main may also have been damaged and inadequately repaired with a 6-inch diameter section. Including the damaged portion, ECUA’s contractor replaced approximately 100 feet of antiquated clay sewer main from manhole to manhole on October 14, thereby eliminating this as a point source of cross-contamination with the stormwater system.
While this point source may be a significant contributor to the recently detected E.coli sampling results, the ECUA, City of Pensacola, and FDEP team will continue to investigate to ensure that no other point sources exist.
Meanwhile, ECUA continues to line and rehabilitate aging infrastructure in the downtown area as well as throughout our entire sanitary sewer collection system. In the past fiscal year (FY2022), ECUA has invested over $10 Million towards this effort.
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