By Joan Murray

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – More than a week after an aging sewer line broke in a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood, crews are now working on making emergency repairs to a second leak from a broken sewer main pipe in the same neighborhood.

Officials say the fix made to the first pipe on Wednesday may have caused the pressure to rise in the 54-inch pipe causing a new break in the vicinity of Virginia Young Park, located at 1000 SE 9th Avenue in the Rio Vista Neighborhood.

The new break is in a new location along the 50-year-old pipe. The previous break has been fixed.

Crews work on fixing a second sewer main break in the Rio Vista Neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 20, 2019. (CBS4)

“Crews were deactivating the bypass. They were successful but shortly afterward another break occurred north of original break,” explained city spokesman Chaz Adams. “It is feasible when the bypass was deactivated and the 54 inch line came up, the pressure may have caused the second break.”

Crews are currently working to contain the spill and clear the streets in the affected area.

Lisa Zwick says she saw a submerged car being towed down her front street at 3 a.m., that’s when she realized something was wrong.

“It looked like something out of a movie,” she said. The Tarpon River which flows behind her home is a dark muddy brown as excess raw sewage is being diverted once more.

Millions of gallons of raw sewage were diverted into the river for a week after the first break.

“It’s awful. The fish are dying,” she said.

A total of 14 tanker and vacuum trucks have been deployed and pumping operations are taking place at locations in the vicinity of the site to help clear water from the street.

Once the spill is contained, crews will focus on how to best repair the broken section of pipe.

Officials say the sewer main break does not impact drinking water. There are no boil water advisories.

However, officials are advising people to avoid contact with any standing water. If contact is made, follow proper hygiene procedures. Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Residents who have questions, may contact the City’s 24 hour Neighbor Call Center at 954-828-8000

Streets in the immediate area of Virginia Young Park are closed including SE 10 Street between SE 9 Avenue and Rio Vista Boulevard, as well as Rio Visa Boulevard between SE 9 Avenue and SE 9 Street.  Ponce de Leon Drive remains closed between SE 9 Avenue and SE 12 Way.

A precautionary advisory for recreational activities in local waterways remains in effect.

The boundaries are Broward Boulevard to the north, Poinciana Drive to the east, SE 15 Street to the south, and SW 18 Avenue to the west. Water-related activities including swimming, fishing, jet-skiing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, and canoeing should be avoided within these boundaries.

Click here to see a map of the precautionary advisory for water-related recreational activities.

Comments