Officials are still trying to determine the cause of the break in a 6-foot-diameter sewer line Friday night that spewed an estimated 20 million gallons of raw sewage into a canal feeding Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Miami-Dade County water and sewer workers were not able to divert the spillage around the rupture for at least 12 hours. To establish why the massive pipe broke, it will have to be lifted out of the ground, officials said.
“We’re still assessing the impact,” said Luis Espinoza, who works for the county’s Department of Environmental Resources Management. “In the short term we haven’t seen anything to be a major cause of concern. It is a fairly large amount, but it gets diluted into a much larger amount, billions of gallons.”
Parts of the bay were closed to swimming starting Saturday morning. By Monday, bacteria levels had fallen and some areas were being opened up again, Espinoza said.
This is the third episode of massive amounts of raw sewage spilling into the bay from ruptured lines since 2000.