sewage

Wilfredo Lee/AP

Dirty beaches in the wake of record-setting king tides across South Florida this week should come as no surprise, scientists say.

“No, there’s not any coincidence,” said Florida International University geochemist and water quality expert Henry Briceno.

Just days after record-setting tides, Florida Department of Health officials issued warnings Thursday about unsafe levels of bacteria at four Miami-Dade County beaches: Crandon Park’s North Beach, Virginia Key, Cape Florida and Surfside at 93rd Street. They told swimmers to stay out of the water.

C.W. GRIFFIN / MIAMI HERALD file

Before heading to the beach, you might want to check if it’s safe to swim at your chosen spot.

Elevated poop levels have led to Florida Department of Health swimming advisories for a total of eight beaches in Miami-Dade. Other beaches across the state — including six in Okaloosa County — were also put on warning Wednesday.

The advisories for Miami-Dade issued Wednesday were for: Surfside, 93rd Street; North Shore, 73rd Street; Collins Park, 21st Street; South Beach at Collins Avenue; South Beach at South Pointe Drive; and Virginia Beach.

Miami Herald archives

It’s been a tough summer for South Florida beaches, which have faced hot weather, seaweed and high bacteria levels.

Miami-Dade County

Over the weekend, a crack surfaced in a 55-year-old underground sewer pipe in Miami's Oleta River.

The small crack is less than two square inches in diameter and has so far spewed about a half million gallons of raw sewage. But the flow will continue as workers race to install a bypass pipe on the aging line - work they expect to complete by Thursday night.

While less severe than originally suspected when a kayacker discovered the leak Sunday, the spill is drawing attention to a worsening problem across Miami-Dade County: polluted waterways.

CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD

A sewage spill that began Sunday afternoon by Oleta River might not be stopped until Friday as Miami-Dade launches a 24-hour underwater repair operation on a pipe that the county had planned to replace within two years.

The leak of raw human waste comes from a 48-inch pipe that runs 12 feet under the Oleta in the middle of the state park that carries the river’s name. It carries sewage from the Sunny Isles Beach area to the North District Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department

Plans to end a decades-old practice of flushing treated sewage offshore in Miami-Dade County got an assist from the federal government Friday with the award of a nearly $100 million low-interest loan.

Getty Images / Miami Herald

Busted and clogged pipes cost the Miami-Dade County sewage system $600,000 last year, and one of the main culprits was grease.

That's why Miami-Dade Water and Sewer is asking residents to properly dispose of their cooking waste this holiday season.

Jennifer Messemer-Skold, the county agency's spokesperson, likened a pipe clogged with grease to an unhealthy heart.

"If you have a very high fat-content diet, your arteries start to clog up," she said.

St. Petersburg leaders have settled a lawsuit filed by environmental groups in 2016 after the city released millions of gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay. 

Google Maps showing George English Park in Fort Lauderdale
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale's troublesome, aging sewage system just got a major update, according to a new city report. 

 

A 30-inch force main--a main support sewage line--that runs underneath SW 2nd St. started to repeatedly break near the end of 2016. So, the Public Works Department's Go Big, Go Fast campaign started with an emergency declaration to replace the pipe at the end of September this year. 

Rain and power outages from Hurricane Irma led to sewage spills across Florida, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Miami Waterkeeper

The environmental advocacy group Miami Waterkeeper is suing Miami-Dade County for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act after finding a sewage pipe that might have been leaking into the ocean for almost a year.

The Waterkeepers filed a notice of intent to sue in 60 days. The lawsuit will ask the county to fix this leak and inspect all outfall pipes, as well as suggest that the county contribute to the Biscayne Bay restoration trust fund, instead of paying civil penalties.

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department

Over a period of eight hours on June 20, more than 700,000 gallons of raw sewage — poop and wastewater — spilled from a 63-inch pipe on NW 155 Lane, just south of State Road 826 near the Golden Glades.