By Brooke Shafer

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – With a simple twist, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and Commissioner Ben Sorensen officially “activated” a new stretch of sewer line.

“Today marks a major milestone in the project, we’ve installed more than 23,000 linear feet of new pipe underground,” said Trantalis.

The 1.5-mile section of the new redundant sewer line runs from SE 4th Street to the wastewater treatment plant on SE 17th Street.

The line is part of Fort Lauderdale’s new seven-mile, $65 million sewer main project.

“Following the unfortunate incidents in Tio Vista, we devised a creative solution to complete this project as quickly as possible,” said Trantalis.

The “unfortunate incidents” the mayor described were all thanks to an aging sewer line which left people living in the Rio Vista neighborhood having to deal with constant breaks and emergency repairs.

Last December, a break caused a river of sludge in the streets, some people felt forced to leave their homes and stay in hotels.

The city’s website said there were six city sewer main breaks between December 10th through December 30th, totaling nearly 127 million gallons of raw sewage overflowing into Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods.

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The new line is made of high-density polyethylene pipe and is being installed using a process called underground directional drilling.

If a rupture occurs, crews won’t need to dig up entire streets and repairs will require less restoration work.

“With this, water and sewage are going to flow seamlessly underground, hopefully not above ground ever again,” said Sorenson.

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