Eyes on the Street: A river “of sewage” runs through it

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UPDATE: According to a recently posted Lake Alert, the City estimates that roughly 15,000 gallons of waste were discharge into Lake Formosa from this incident, that was caused by a pump failure in the lift station. Cleanup of the area is expected to begin Wednesday, September 13 with a private contractor. Warning signs have been placed on the Orlando Urban Trail, Lake Rowena Park, and the Mennello Museum of American Art. This Lake Alert has also been extended to Lake Rowena, which connects to Formosa via a canal under Mills Avenue.

Editor’s Note: According to the City of Orlando, the lift station is owned by the Gallery at Mills Park Property Owners Association

 

We often get photographs and tips from our Bungalower readers of things that are happening around town, so we have started featuring them on the site in a series called Eyes on the Street, in honor of our favorite urbanist, Jane Jacobs.

Lake Formosa resident, Teresa Campbell, sent us the following email and subsequent video at the bottom of this post:

Raw sewage from the private lift station associated with the Gallery at Mills Park has been running down South Lake Formosa Drive between Haven and Dauphin since Irma came through. It is going directly into Lake Formosa via a storm water drain. The dirty water is running across the bike trail and people are unknowingly walking/ riding/ splashing in it. I have even seen dogs drinking from the water. The City’s Water Reclamation Dept. is aware of the issue but most residents, lake enthusiasts and trail users are not. Lake Formosa is connected to all the other lakes in the area- Lake Rowena, Sue, & Estelle.  Please spread the word. This is a major public safety concern!”

According to the City of Orlando, the private lift station that was put into place at the northwest corner in Mills Park stopped working during the hurricane. As a result, an undisclosed amount of raw sewage leaked through the Lake Formosa neighborhood and into the lake itself.

This is a private lift station and not operated by the city. The Public Information Office told Bungalower that their staff had been in contact with the owners of the private lift station and have been providing as support as needed. According to the City, the owner has since resolved the issue that led to the leak and no more sewage is running into the lake.

Residents and businesses in the area are being asked to keep water usage to a minimum to help the owner restore the private lift station.

The City is monitoring all of the lakes in Orlando due to the high potential for sewage overflow and will be keeping an eye out for any adverse environmental problems.

If any fines are levied on the property owner, it would be via the Orange County Department of Environmental Protection and/or Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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