MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s a disgusting mess in parts of East Hollywood as cars splash through sewer water bubbling up from under manhole covers.
“It smells really horrible,” said Jon Wilson. “It just smells like water that comes out of your toilet.”
Wilson was driving through and stopped to take a closer look.
“It’s disgusting, filthy sewer water with feces,” he told CBS4’s Ted Scouten.
Hollywood officials told CBS4 all that rainwater and flooding from Eta has overwhelmed the wastewater system, doubling the amount of sewage that normally flows to the treatment plant.
“The operation at that facility is typically 45-50 million gallons daily. Right now the facility is operating at 100 million gallons. So the pressure on the system is great,” said Hollywood spokeswoman Joann Hussey.
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This isn’t just a Hollywood problem. The plant treats sewage for Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Dania Beach, Hallandale Beach, Miramar, Pembroke Park and parts of Southern Broward.
“Things will get better,” Hussey said. “It’s a collective effort on everybody’s part. Once everybody does their part then the system will return to normal.”
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said a bypass system will be created to reduce the flow.
But so far, no sewage has been recovered and it’s unclear how many gallons have been spilled into the environment.
Once the flow is reduced, crews can start cleaning as well.
City officials are asking people to “reduce the use,” meaning reduce the length of showers, don’t flush the toilet as often, don’t use the dishwasher and don’t do laundry.
They’re also worried about more rain.
“If we continue to have an excessive amount of heart rainfall that continues to inundate the area then this problem will go on for a little bit longer,” Hussey said.