Field Operations dispatched a vacuum tanker crew to provide emergency incident support for a medical facility's private sewer system blockage and overflow. The City was able to contain the overflow impact area to a parking lot, clear the blockage and disinfect the impact area. Field Operations also assisted the customer with DEP spill reporting compliance.
While private customers are responsible for their own system maintenance and spill response, the City decided to engage in this incident to protect public health and avoid adverse impact to the Indian River Lagoon. This response is fitting lead-in to Water Resources Department new "Stop the Spills" campaign to help protect the Indian River Lagoon from pollution impacts.
Utility Engineering and Field Operations combined forces on a project to confirm the integrity of the sewer system along the Indian River Lagoon. As part of the Water Resources Department "Stop the Spills" campaign, Utility Engineering reviewed historical drawings to make a shortlist of abandoned sewer and force main pipes along the river. This area includes abandoned sewer overflow pipes dating back to a bygone era when the system was built to overflow to the river during high storm flows. Those overflow pipes were removed long ago, but we wanted to make sure the disconnections were sealed. In the end, Utility Engineering's shortlist included eight sites to investigate.
Field Operations inspected each of the shortlist sites to confirm that the abandoned connections were properly removed, plugged and sealed. This field work included manhole inspections, in-pipe video inspections, and pipe excavation pits using line tracers, ground penetrating radar and excavation equipment. The inspections found that all of the abandoned pipes were entirely removed or plugged. To assure watertight seals, they replaced the overflow plugs at two manholes and we installed redundant pipe caps at a third site where a previously disconnected force main was abandoned in place. The Florida Department of Environmental Protect reviewed and accepted this project for responsible management of the system to prevent future spills to the Indian River Lagoon.