On Monday, July 30, the City of Titusville became aware of wastewater (sewage) leaking into the Indian River Lagoon behind one of its lift stations on Indian River Avenue. Titusville Water Resources field crews were immediately dispatched to stop the leak and determine the cause of the leakage. In just under three hours after discovering the leak, the flow was stopped. It was determined that an old force main, which was abandoned and replaced almost forty years ago, had not been properly abandoned. A portion of the old main remained active and had ruptured, causing sewage to flow into the lagoon.
Titusville’s crews were able to shut down and properly abandon the damaged line. The area was cleaned and disinfected according to regulations. An estimated 870,000 gallons of sewage entered the Indian River Lagoon as a result of this incident. The discharge has been reported as required to the Florida State Department of Environmental Protection.
According to Sean Stauffer, Titusville Water Resources Director, although regulations did not require the city to issue a news release regarding the leak, Titusville did so because it wants to keep its citizens informed. “The lagoon is a big focus for everyone in Brevard County,” explained Stauffer. “We want our residents to know when any incident occurs that could affect the lagoon.” Stauffer noted that the leak occurred in one of the oldest sections of the utility’s system. “Repairing and replacing infrastructure is one of the biggest expenses for a utility. Florida’s coastal soils are very hard on pipes, concrete, and other parts of the infrastructure, so it’s a never ending process to keep things repaired.”
Titusville does not use the Indian River Lagoon as a source for drinking water