FECAL & WASTE SPILLS – Hurricane History

Florida passed a new law which requires municipalities to report fecal and wastewater spills over 1,000 gallons.  Municipalities always do the best they can.  The prevalence of spills shows that THE CURRENT WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM IS INADEQUATE.  Storms cause the total (gallons) of throughput for water treatment systems to be overloaded.  Power outages and weather events (over 9 inches of rain in a couple days) cause authorities to make serious and immediate decisions to get drinking water back to the public and to not pollute the waterways.

These are links to news about spills that occurred after Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida from September 10 – 13, 2017.  (LINK)

  • The Washington Post reported a summary, in Florida a total of 9 million gallons of waste spillage had been reported as of 12 Sep 2017
  • Orange County (Orlando, FL and area):  One (1) Million gallons spilled.   (LINK)
    • Good article by Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinal
    • 800 (fecal waste) pump stations in Orange County, 450 lost power.
      • Ovieda Station reported over 1 million gallons spilled;
      • The ‘enormous’ Alfaya Trail Station (Near University of Central Florida in Orlando) had 120,000 gallons and 250,000 gallons spilled.
  • St Petersburg reported a 430,000 Gallon release of partially treated wastewater into the Tampa Bay, and Clearwater reported a release of 1,600,000 Gallons    (LINK)
    • This was reported by the Miami Herald, I don’t know why.
  • Jacksonville reported a release of 1,500,000 Gallons
    • Jacksonville treats over 60,000,000 Gallons of (fecal/waste) water per year.
    • Excellent Report, gives addresses, and the link to JEA spill reporting.  This seems to be in compliance with the new 2017 reporting law.
    • (LINK) (News4JAX, 14 Sep 2017).

****  Other Various Links and Information for the Curious****

An awesome set of suggestions from Collier County  LINK  )  The treatment systems (pumps, three stage reclamation, redistribution) are dramatically impacted by loss of power, high water, and overuse due to the disaster.

“For more information on Jacksonville Environmental Agency (JEA) sewage spills, go to https://www.jea.com/environment/environmental_incident_reporting.”

Collier County / Naples Florida – The situation looks serious but the information provided in the report is sparse.  LINK

********  Sensational articles that incite panic.  (I call this rubber neck journalism).

This Florida Today article warns that Hurricane Irma will make our water worse (9 Sep 2017).  LINK

This Bloomberg article offers no solutions, waves arms in pandemonium (13 Sep 2017).  My take:  its not that bad, and it is worse.  This article is just running all over the water reclamation trade space.  The article is not helpful.  LINK

SLATE  (14 Sep 2017)  Some good facts provided by the State of Florida, nice sensationalist pictures and words, blaming, shaming, no solutions.  Bound to increase clicks per page, ad revenues, public pandemonium  LINK