Water-Related News

Massive raw sewage dump strikes Lake Parker

LAKELAND — A broken sewer line has dumped more than 200,000 gallons of raw wastewater into the west side of Lake Parker near the intersection of Valencia Street and Lake Parker Drive.

City crews, aided by a contractor, endeavored to stem the flow of raw sewage into the 2,100-acre lake late Thursday afternoon.

They expect to have the leak stopped by Thursday evening, with repairs to begin early Friday morning. “It was a big one and it was one that we couldn’t shut off” because of the highly pressurized water flow, said Rick Ruede,

Lakeland’s wastewater collections manager. “We’re probably losing about 800 gallons a minute.”

A better estimate of the amount of effluent discharged in the lake will be available by Friday morning, or sooner, he said, adding that the environmental impact should be minimal in the long term.

“There will be a little short-term impact,” Ruede said, “but it will all get dissipated.”

The spill prompted the Florida Department of Health to issue a health advisory late Thursday afternoon, urging people to take precautions with coming into contact with the lake water.

The line break “presents several health risks to humans” because of microbes in the untreated human sewage that can cause gastrointestinal issues and other conditions, according to the advisory.