Sewage spill is concerning boaters in St. Augustine | News

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Sewage spill is concerning boaters in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A sewage spill in St. Augustine is affecting the waterways.

The city put up signs to warn people about the sewage leak.

However, the people who live the closest to the water, like those on boats, said they wanted more than a sign.

Steve Moore lives on his boat at the English Landing Marina on the San Sebastian River in St. Augustine.

St. Augustine's Public Works Deputy Director Todd Grant said the ten inches of rain Thursday and Friday was too much for the old clay sewage pipes to handle. It's the second time this year there has been a sewage leak because of so much rain.

"And so as the gravity system backs up, it starts to leak out of manholes," Grant explained.

Grant said 16,800 gallons of untreated sewage flowed out of manholes in three spots: by Lake Maria Sanchez, by the San Sebastian River near the main library, and by Oyster Creek.

The city posted signs about the spill, but Moore and his boating neighbors says that was not enough.

"We work around the dock. I work around the dock," Moore noted. "I'm around the water. We have divers that clean the bottom of the boats, and nobody notified us that this water is contaminated."

The city's response is: we'll do better next time.

Grant said, "We do follow the protocols set up by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. We do the signs. We do the sampling. But I understand the concerns, and so moving forward, we'll look at a better way of a delivery system."

Moore says it would be best if the sewage spills didn't happen at all.


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