Advertisement

Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at tampabay.com/coronavirus. Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

SOME AREAS HIT IN SEWAGE SPILL HAVE REOPENED

Six days after a sewage line burst, gushing wastewater into nearby Joe's Creek, Pinellas County officials say at least some of the affected areas are safe to enter.

Water samples from Boca Ciega Bay and Long Bayou have met minimum state water quality standards, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection confirmed Friday. But samples from Joe's Creek and Cross Bayou have not. The samples must meet the minimum standards for two consecutive days before the state will lift precautionary notices.

"Pinellas County water quality officials continue to collect water samples from these areas to submit to DEP for evaluation," a county representative wrote in a news release.

The next round of sampling results should be released early next week.

Gibbs said that DEP will look at a number of factors before making a decision, including whether the county could have prevented the sewage leak and if its response time and manner was adequate. Often, heavy rainfall can overwhelm storm sewers, Gibbs said, which is usually beyond the county's control.

So far, it appears Pinellas officials reported the leak within 24 hours, as required, and have generally complied with state response criteria, Gibbs said.

Citizens are encouraged to stay away from the waters still under the advisory.

The county said the spill does not affect drinking water.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement