Water-Related News

8,000 gallons of sewage spill after ditch collapses in Polk

LAKELAND — Approximately 8,000 gallons of untreated sewage flowed into a Skyview-area drainage ditch east of Lakeland when the dirt embankment surrounding a pressurized line collapsed Sunday morning, Lakeland water utilities reported.

The leak occurred at the northeastern edge of Citrus Woods Estates, near where the drainage ditch enters Anglers Lake.

"This pipe was a new pipe," said Lakeland's water utilities director, Bob Conner. "It was put in within the last year."

But, he said, "when the dirt falls away there's nothing to hold it up."

When the dirt fell away the sewer main fell with it, bending it and causing a pipe joint to leak at about 10:30 a.m. The flow was contained by 2 p.m. and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection was notified of the failure, Conner said.

A water engineer is working with the construction contractor to determine what happened and what needs to be done. A parallel, gravity-fed sewer line was also exposed, but kept enough of its foundation to stay in place.