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Titusville Water Resources provides Initial Report on Sand Point Sewage Leak Tonight at City Hall

Tuesday, Titusville officials will hold a special meeting at City Hall to discuss the mid-December sewage leak at Sand Point Park that sent over 100,000 gallons of raw sewage into the park's ponds and nearby lagoon.

Photo Credit: Carrie Bailey

The city is still dealing with the spill. According to a Jan. 10 update on the city's website, "the bulk of the sewage spill remains impounded in the Sand Point ponds via an earthen dam in the drainage ditch."

City staff checks the earthen dam twice daily.

On Dec. 22, Florida Department of Environmental Protection sent a warning letter to the city about the leak, which spilled an estimated 100,000 gallons of raw sewage, city officials said.

But residents who witnessed the leak say many more gallons have been spilled since then.

Dozens of clean water advocates walk from Sand Point Park to Titusville City Hall Saturday morning, January 9, 2021. The group was protesting recent sewage spills into the Indian River Lagoon.

On Sunday, three trucks from a contractor removed 114,000 gallons from the park's west pond, the city's Jan. 10 update says. To date, the city has removed more than 1.3 million gallons of water and transported it to the city's Blue Heron Water Reclamation Facility for treatment. The contract hauler and city staff will continue the clean-up until the water quality returns to normal, the city's update says. Water quality sampling of each of the three ponds and the Indian River Lagoon will continue until the water quality returns to normal levels of bacteria.

City officials said they confirmed the leak on Dec. 19. Repair of the sewer pipe was complicated by its location 15 feet underwater in the pond, city officials said, also because a 7-foot-by-55-foot-by-3-foot concrete slab covered the pipe. Because jackhammering the slab might have led to catastrophic failure of the pipe, city officials said the pipe had to be cut and new piping routed around the concrete slab. William Klein, of Titusville, who first documented the fish kill, says warning signs should have gone up days sooner.

He wants the city to recalculate the spill volume, which he suspects could be much higher than reported. He didn't see any warning signs about sewage until eight days after he saw dead fish in the pond.

Klein wants the park's two ponds dredged to remove contaminants.

"These two ponds have a tremendous muck load in addition to the sewage and dead fish that have settled to their bottoms," Klein said by email. "These ponds should be drained and have the muck dug out and safely disposed. This would be the best time to do it. The fish are dead."

Want to go? What: Titusville City Council meeting When: 5:30 pm Tuesday to discuss the sewage leak, followed by the Council's regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Where: City Council Chamber at City Hall, 555 South Washington Avenue, Titusville.

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