No major water-quality problems detected following sewage spill last week in New Port Richey

New Port Richey City Hall ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times
Published May 15

NEW PORT RICHEY — The state has issued no bacteria advisories following a 300,000-gallon wastewater spill last week from a ruptured pipe in New Port Richey's sewage treatment plant off the Gulf of Mexico.

Water test samples began returning this week following the spill from the city's plant, where a 20-inch pipe ruptured on an aeration tank at the facility at 4730 Main Street.

The city discovered the breach at 7 a.m. on May 4 and stopped the leak at 10:15 a.m., according a report to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Half of the spill remained on land, but approximately 150,000 gallons seeped into Cross Bayou, part of the lower coastal watershed that flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Water sample tests by the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County for fecal coliform bacteria came back extremely low, so the department did not post an advisory, New Port Richey public works director Robert Rivera wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times.

Other water samples taken after the spill continue to be tested, and results have been sent to the state, according to Rivera.

The Department of Environmental Protection is reviewing the incident, Shannon Herbon wrote in an email.

"DEP's environmental specialists are working to obtain and review all necessary information and data to complete our regulatory review and determine the appropriate next steps," she wrote. "DEP is also working to determine causes and possible solutions to prevent unauthorized discharges in the future and will continue to work closely with the city of New Port Richey to address these issues."