HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Crews continue working to clean up a massive sewage spill in Hollywood.
It happened near Taft Street between Park Road and Interstate 95 Wednesday morning.
The street is covered with raw sewage and most people in the area said the smell is overwhelming. City workers broke through concrete sidewalks and streets to divert the sewage into a nearby canal even though the city will likely face fines from the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Hollywood City spokeswoman Raelin Storey.
“While it’s not ideal, we have no other option,” Storey said.
For residents in and around the area,
“It’s smelly, the worst part is the smell,” said resident Ed Crosby.
The sewage also contaminated the pool at the YMCA on Taft Street.
Storey said it could take 48 hours to repair the sewer line which connects thousands of residents in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines to the Southern Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Baseball fields and backyards are filled with the sewage. Twenty one homes were impacted by the rivers of sewage.
Jose Merchan said his backyard looked like a lake after the pipeline erupted. By Thursday morning, some of contaminated water had receded but in spots he had standing water of raw sewage.
“It’s very difficult to live in this condition,” said Merchan.
The city says pressure in the sewer line built up and caused the break while crews were doing construction and building an additional sewer line.
Storey said the city “is in the process right now of putting in another line so that if we [the city], were to ever have a situation like this, we would have this other line to divert flows to.”
A valve needed to repair the pipe arrived on Thursdays and crews hope to stop the flow by early Friday morning. Workers will use disinfectant to clear the smell.
The families most affected by the sewage were given hotels for the night.
“I think they’ll get it done,” Crosby said. “They offered us a hotel. We decided to stay put. What’s one more night?”
The city has set up a hotline for residents who need assistance. The number is (954) 921-3046.