Due to the excessive amount of rainfall during Hurricane Irma – combined with residential and commercial uses – the City’s sewage system is working overtime and having problems processing waste water.
Compounding the capacity issue, a number of lift stations lost power during the storm and last we heard from the City, 20 of the City’s 230+ lift stations were operating on generators.
The City of Orlando is asking that residents conserve water until further notice by limiting the use of dishwashers, sinks, washing machines, showers, and toilets.
The consequence of over-burdened sewage systems is leakage and spills. Irma resulted in 11 reported overflows in the City service area, one of which we wrote about HERE behind Mills Park which resulted in an estimated 15,000 gallons of raw sewage flowing into Lake Formosa.
That lift station is the only privately-owned facility to malfunction during Irma. The homeowners association that operates it has hired a contractor who is licensed by the Department of Environmental Protection to handle the cleanup which involves sanitizing and scrubbing the street, rinsing away residue with clean water, and vacuuming runoff to take to a regulated facility.
A recent report by the New Republic highlighted a State-wide “poo-lution” problem, stating that over 28 million gallons of sewage water was discharged during the storm, in 22 counties. Miami is having to deal with a 6 million-gallon spill in their South District Wastewater Treatment Plant that worked its way into Biscayne Bay. Read the full piece by the New Republic HERE.
A Lake Alert is in place for all Central Florida water bodies until further notice, and residents are asked to cease all activities on or near waterways, including the use of lake-fed irrigation systems.
Do your part and ease off a bit on your water use.