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Ruptured sewer line causes portion of ground along Florida Mango Road to collapse

Contractor for AT&T damages line, leading to emergency repairs
Posted at 12:21 PM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-10 22:05:29-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A ruptured sewer line caused a portion of the ground alongside a Palm Beach County road to collapse Tuesday night, the Lake Worth Beach utility director said Wednesday.

The incident occurred when a contractor for AT&T damaged a sewer main on Florida Mango Road between Waterside Drive and a nearby canal.

Sam Heady, the utility director for Lake Worth Beach, told WPTV on Wednesday that a portion of the ground caved in because of the rupture.

ruptured sewer main line in Palm Springs, April 10, 2024
A portion of the ground alongside Florida Mango Road caved in because of a sewer spill from a ruptured line, April 10, 2024, in Palm Springs, Fla.

Residents in the area couldn't access their homes because of the incident, while another individual told WPTV that authorities asked her to evacuate.

Utility crews from Lake Worth Beach were working to make emergency repairs, which required them to dig two deep potholes into Florida Mango Road.

Utility crew digging up Florida Mango Road to repair ruptured sewer main line, April 10, 2024
A utility crew digs up a portion of Florida Mango Road to repair a ruptured sewer main line, April 10, 2024, in Palm Springs, Fla.

Nearby residents said the work kept them up all night.

"It's hard for me because I suffer from seizures," Luisa Valdez said. "And since I suffer from seizures, I've been having a very rough night. If it's not the banging, it's just very overwhelming."

WATCH: Residents living near ground collapse frustrated

Residents living near ground collapse along Florida Mango Road frustrated by situation

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday night the 36-inch wastewater force main is discharging at a rate of 2 million gallons per day.

The agency said booms have been placed up and downstream from the break to aid in the temporary containment of the wastewater, which is being pumped out and recovered into the treatment system. Vacuum trucks are running continuously, and aerators have also been deployed to reduce odors, the agency said.

"We thank the community for their patience and will continue to provide updates on the progress of the repair," the city said in a statement.

Palm Beach County spokesman John Jamason said Florida Mango Road was closed between Waterside Drive and Garden Road. He said it was expected to re-open by April 16.

The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County issued a health alert, no swim advisory and no irrigation to residents and visitors in the area. Drinking water is not affected.

The affected areas are Lake Clarke and Lake Clarke Shores, L-10 canal, L-9 canal, Grassy Saw Lake, Lake Osborne, C-51/West Palm Beach canal, the canal between Waterway Drive and West Lake Drive, the canal between West Lake Drive and Pine Tree Lane, Keller canal, other nearby surface water bodies connected to those water bodies.

"Anyone who comes into contact with the water in this area should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking," spokesman Alex Shaw said in a news release. "Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to disease, so every precaution should be taken if needed."