MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Crews are working around the clock to make a temporary fix on a sewer line that ruptured Sunday beneath the Oleta River in North Miami.
The break is causing thousands and thousands of untreated sewer water to flow into the Intracoastal. Until repairs can be completed, the message is clear – stay out of the water.
The pipe burst near the bridge at 2500 NE 163td Street, and was discovered leaking over the weekend.
The county is unable to cap the line because it will cause sewer backups in the communities served.
The dirty water has led to warning signs being posted to stay out of the water at Greynolds Park, Oleta River State Park, and the beaches around the Haulover Inlet.
Jennifer Messemer, with the Miami-Dade Department of Water and Sewer, said the repair will take some time due to where the break is.
“It is not a regular sewer line. It is nine feet underwater and an additional three feet underground, underwater,” she said.
She hopes to have a temporary fix completed by Thursday night.
“They will work 72 hours straight, three days without stopping,” she said.
Residents of the nearby cities of Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach, and North Miami have been asked to cut down on their water usage to ease the impact on the crippled sewage line, although there is no impact to homeowners. Contaminated water signs are posted from Haulover Inlet to the south, the mainland to the west, Maul Lake to the north, and the Intracoastal – including the beach area around Haulover Inlet – to the east.
However, some warning signs south of the inlet were absent Tuesday afternoon and swimmers said they were unaware of the danger.
The county said it would replace the signs.
“We are going to have our staff go out there for a third time [to] put signage out there,” said Messemer.
The county hopes to have a temporary fix to the sewage spill completed by Thursday night.