Raw sewage spilled into a drainage ditch — 48,800 gallons — in Charlotte County near the Lee County line on Monday.
A contractor was clearing land at 25095 Harborside Road off Burnt Store Road when they broke a four-inch sewage line, Charlotte County Utilities reported Tuesday. The break occurred at 11:30 a.m. and was isolated by 12:30 p.m.
The county’s Burnt Store Waste Water Treatment Facility reported the sewage spill to the state Department of Environmental Protection as required. None of the spill was recovered. Water flow in the ditch was described as fast-moving. The area was washed and limed with samples taken.
The county repaired the main and returned it to service.
A smaller spill was reported at the same time and day in West County near Rotonda at 165 Jade St. At that site, 800 gallons of raw sewage was released after someone drove over a 2-inch sewage line, CCU reported. They did not report if it was a contractor or staff person. Half of that spill was recovered and the other half had percolated into the soil in a roadside swale.
Many sewage spills are caused by contractor error, CCU officials have told the Sun. DEP this month increased the county’s penalties for sewage overflows, requiring the county to make corrections or pay steep fines. Some of the overflows can be corrected with updated equipment and new generators that kick in during power loss. The county is also expanding the capacity of its sewage treatment plants in mid county.