Miami Beach

Storm water pump in South Beach accidentally turned off, resulting in black water

This courtesy photo shows the immediate outflow from the pump at 10th Street after it was turned back on Monday morning. Someone with the city had accidentally turned the pump off. The rush of backed-up storm water carrying sediment was then released into Biscayne Bay.
This courtesy photo shows the immediate outflow from the pump at 10th Street after it was turned back on Monday morning. Someone with the city had accidentally turned the pump off. The rush of backed-up storm water carrying sediment was then released into Biscayne Bay. Alex Baña

South Beach residents might have noticed cloudy black water in Biscayne Bay on Monday morning at 10th Street and West Avenue.

That’s because somebody at the city of Miami Beach accidentally turned off a storm water pump, causing storm water to back up into the system. Some came up through the drains on Alton Road, and when workers turned the pump on in the late morning, a rush of storm water with large concentration of sediment was released into the bay.

People in buildings along West Avenue soon noticed a large swath of murky water grow near the pump.

“I saw that the water was different from the rest of the water,” said Alex Baña, who was staying with a friend in a tower of The Mirador at 1000 West Ave. “I assume it was treated, but that just didn’t look right.”

Baña snapped a photo of his view at 10:30 a.m., showing dark water spilling from the pump.

City spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez said the city quickly turned the system on after noticing water backing up.

“We went out and turned on the switch,” she said.

Immediately after being turned on again, the pumps then pushed out a concentrated amount of storm water with sediment that is usually released more slowly.

The storm water pump system, recently installed before this year’s king tides, includes a filtration system that removes most solids from the water.

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