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Multiple Florida Counties Face Wastewater Spills In Wake of Hurricane Michael

A wastewater treatment facility in North Florida.
A wastewater treatment facility in North Florida.

Multiple wastewater spills have been confirmed in Northwest Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. The latest one is in Gulf County where sewage spilled into the Apalachicola River.

A wastewater treatment facility in North Florida.
A wastewater treatment facility in North Florida.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says approximately 80,000 gallons of partially-treated wastewater was released into the river because of a power outage at the area’s wastewater pump station about 3 and a half miles from Dead Lakes. Impacts from the spill on the surrounding area are still unknown. But local residents are being told to avoid all areas where wastewater may have spilled due to a risk of serious illness caused by exposure to untreated sewage.

Fish kills in the area have also been confirmed in Dead Lakes and the Apalachicola River, though the cause is not yet known.

Meanwhile, multiple smaller wastewater spills occurred in Chipley in Washington County. Approximately 25,000 gallons of sewage spilled, and some entered a tributary that may feed into Alligator Creek. In Leon County the storm knocked out a waste-station but workers were able to prevent 150,000 gallons of untreated sewage from overflowing into the nearby area.


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Eleanor Clark is a recent graduate from Florida State University with degrees in International Affairs and Creative Writing. Before interning at WFSU, she spent time in New York City as the Civic Engagement Coordinator for Columbia University’s high school program. Some of Eleanor’s favorite things are watching the Great British Bake Off, eating soup dumplings, and spending time with her dog, Cooper.
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