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Untreated sewage spills into Tampa’s Seddon Channel from two mishaps

First, it was an overflow from a line on Harbour Island. Then, Verizon workers drilled into a line on Davis Islands.
Marjorie Park Yacht Basin located at 115 Columbia Drive in Tampa. [Times staff]
Marjorie Park Yacht Basin located at 115 Columbia Drive in Tampa. [Times staff]

TAMPA — Two unrelated mishaps snarled traffic and spilled nearly 31,000 gallons of untreated sewage into Seddon Channel this week.

On Sunday, a build-up of grease in a gravity sewer on Harbour Island led to an overflow of 6,980 gallons, most of which flowed into a nearby pond. Some of the wastewater made it into the channel.

The grease plug originated from improper grease disposal into drains from business and residential towers, said Wastewater Department director Eric Weiss.

“We’ll be talking to them about grease management,” Weiss said.

The next day, a Verizon crew that was drilling accidentally punctured a hole in a 48-inch pressurized line carrying sewage to the city’s Howard F. Curren plant. Some 24,000 gallons spilled into the channel before the problem was contained, Weiss said.

The intersection of Bering Street and Columbia Drive on Davis Islands will remain closed until workers can repair the pipe. The spill occurred Monday evening near the Marjorie Park Marina.

The repair costs will be significant, Weiss said, and the city will seek a full reimbursement from Verizon.