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Tallahassee leak spills enough wastewater to fill 300+ bathtubs; crews work hours to make repairs

sewage
Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 02, 2023
  • About 23,000 gallons of untreated wastewater was spilled Sunday in Northeast Tallahassee.
  • It happened when a 24-inch diameter pipe broke.
  • Watch the video above to see how neighbors are handling the situation.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

If you’re like me and take Capital Circle every day for your commute, you may have noticed the utility work that slowed some traffic Sunday and Monday.

I’m Kendall Brandt your neighborhood reporter in NE Tallahassee.

I'm digging into what happened here and the effect its had on neighbors in this community.

Nancy DiGisi enjoys having a little pond in her backyard.

"It's a little paradise in the middle of the city," DiGisi said. "People walk their dogs down there in the mornings."

Now, the city is warning those neighbors to keep their pets away from the pond after a sewage line broke on Capital Circle northeast near Mahan Drive.

The Department of Environmental Protection said that leak spilled 23,000 gallons into Tallahassee streets and in the pond.

DiGisi said she noticed a change in the pond Sunday.

"The water level was up a couple of feet that morning and we hadn't gotten any rain," DiGisi said.

I called the city of Tallahassee to get more details on the spill.

They connected me with David Roberts, a manager with public utilities.

He told me the spill happened Sunday afternoon and was fixed in a couple of hours.

"The force main that broke was a 24 inch diameter pipe," Roberts said. "That's a big pipe. It carries a lot of water."

I crunched the numbers.

The amount of sewage leaked into two local retention ponds was 23,000 gallons.

That's enough to fill up more than 319 average sized bathtubs.

Roberts said the spill should not impact people's drinking water.

"It is completely separate from our drinking water system so there's no inter-connectivity there," Roberts said. "There's no possibility of the water system getting affected or being contaminated."

The work being done now --- repaving the road and cleaning up the two retention ponds. "They were out here first thing this morning pumping the retention pond."

DiGisi said she's grateful for the workers with public utilities.

"They're the heroes," DiGisi said.

Lanes on Capital Circle NE are expected to be back open for Tuesday morning's commute.