Miami-Dade County

Leaking sewage pipe off Key Biscayne fixed, county says

Human waste spews from broken sewer pipe off Virginia Key

Miami Waterkeeper has discovered an ignored outfall sewage leak in Biscayne Bay, affecting our oceans, wildlife, and the health and safety of the public.
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Miami Waterkeeper has discovered an ignored outfall sewage leak in Biscayne Bay, affecting our oceans, wildlife, and the health and safety of the public.

A leaking underwater pipe carrying partially treated sewage was fixed this week after an advocacy group threatened to sue over the rupture, Miami-Dade announced Thursday.

Miami Waterkeeper notified the county it planned legal action to stop the leak of the partially treated human waste, which is supposed to be expelled in deep water far from the coast. But a diver for the group found a leak in relatively shallow water, about a mile off Fisher Island, Key Biscayne and other coastal areas.

“Initial water quality samples taken at the break site have come back clear and in compliance of all testing standards/protocols,” the county’s Water and Sewer Department said in a statement. The press release also said nearby beaches showed no signs of contamination from sewage.

Miami-Dade is in the process of hiring a contractor to inspect the aging pipes, according to the release. The Waterkeeper group obtained internal correspondence between county officials showing concerns about the pipe system. A lobster boat first reported the suspected leak to the county a year ago, according to the emails, and a Waterkeeper diver went down to inspect the leak last month.

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