Friday Jun 16th 2023

Lightning Strike at Pipeline Pump Station

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) received a lightning strike at one of its largest wastewater pumping stations last night during the storm. The Pipeline Station, located at the corner of Pipeline Road and Rainbow Avenue, is a very large station capable of pumping 50 million gallons per day (MGD).

The lightning strike damaged a 600 Hp motor on one of the three pumps at this station. This occurred during the height of the storm so flows in the wastewater system were extremely high. As a result, the two 300,000-gallon excess flow tanks at the station then filled up and began to discharge from the overflow ports at the top of the tanks at approximately 4:30 am. In response, flows elsewhere in our system were redirected to additional excess flow storage tanks, which provided sufficient relief at the Pipeline Station to abate overflows at those tanks. The Pipeline Stations remained operational and overflows ceased by 8:15 am.

This station was built at the same time as the new Central Water Reclamation Facility (CWRF) and this is the first time there has been a lightning strike at this facility.

Meanwhile, ECUA crews have implemented their emergency response plan and have secured our spare 600 Hp motor to replace the damaged equipment. This is a major task due to its size and weight, but will be completed today and will return the station to 100% of its capacity.


(850) 476-0480Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5pm
(850) 476-5110Emergency After Hours
or by writing to the ECUA at9255 Sturdevant Street Pensacola, FL 32514