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Florida Health Department lifts health alert after sewage spill in Lake Worth Beach area

Millions of gallons dispersed after 36-inch inch line ruptured
Posted at 4:26 PM, Apr 27, 2024

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Health Department in Palm Beach County has lifted a health alert for water bodies since the rupture of a sewer line near Lake Worth Beach on April 9.

Most of the area was lifted on April 15 and the remaining locations then had an all-clear, according to a news release Monday.

A 36-inch line was damaged when a contractor working with AT&T hit the sewer line near Florida Mango Road between Waterside Drive and the L-10 Canal. An estimated 3 million to 5 million gallons were dispersed until the line was fixed four days after the rupture by the Lake Worth Utility District.

A health department alert remained.

"Recent coordinated laboratory testing with the City of Lake Worth Beach and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has concluded that the water in these areas again meets surface water quality standards for fecal-indicator bacteria confirming the public may resume water-related activities," the agency said in a news release.

An advisory remained for the surface water between South Congress Avenue and Florida Mango Road. Drinking water has not been affected.

Areas in red show where alert has not been lifted..png
Areas in red show where alert has not been lifted.

This included a no-swim advisory and no irrigation to residents and visitors in the area.

Officially originaly lifted the advisory for the following areas:

◾ Lake Clarke and Lake Clarke Shores

◾ L-10 Canal

◾ L-9 Canal

◾ Grassy Saw Lake

◾ Lake Osborne

◾ C-51/West Palm Beach Canal

◾ Canal between Waterway Drive and Lake Drive

◾ Canal between Lake Drive and Pine Tree Lane

◾ Keller Canal

Crews used vacuum trucks to remove contamination from the affected canals and aerators to add oxygen back to the water and reduce odors. Crews installed a bypass around the site of the leak so that sewage can move freely.

Booms were placed both up and downstream from the break to aid in the temporary containment of the spilled wastewater, which is being pumped out and recovered into the wastewater treatment system.

For any additional information about the potential health effects of wastewater overflow, Floridians are encouraged to contact DOH-Palm Beach at 561-837-5900 or chd50contactus@flhealth.gov.