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UPDATE: St. Pete’s Riviera Bay 10,000-Gallon Sewage Spill You Need to Know About

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If you’re planning to drive around St. Petersburg, a heads up! The San Martin Boulevard Bridge will be closed for a while. Wondering why? The city’s been grappling with a pretty significant sewage issue.

Watch the Press Conference on the latest updates:

Construction Notice and Update on Riviera Bay Discharge

Updated on August 22, 2023 15:16

Effective immediately, residents in Riviera Bay will notice construction work being performed along Patica Rd. NE. / San Martin Blvd. NE / Tallahassee Drive N.

As City of St. Petersburg crews worked to repair the cracked 24-inch main on Sunday, Aug. 20 and Monday, Aug. 21, it was determined that the entire 1-mile section of pipe has exceeded its useful life and immediate replacement is necessary. The City had already budgeted and planned to replace this entire section of pipe in FY 2025, but the City will now accelerate the $3-million replacement project and start the work as soon as possible. During normal operations, the daily flow through the pipe totals 2-million gallons.

What’s happening now?: City crews have stopped the leak with the installation of a clamp late Monday. The next step will be to install a bypass pipe alongside the existing pipe. This bypass pipe will be temporary until the old pipe is replaced. City crews will then be able to replace the old pipe while maintaining service through the bypass pipe.

What can residents expect?: Residents will experience construction along Patica Rd. NE / San Martin Blvd. NE and Tallahassee Drive N and intermittent road closures at the San Martin Blvd. NE Bridge. Every effort will be made to minimize disruption during construction.

Projected timeline: The entire process to build the temporary bypass pipe and put the new permanent pipe into service will take approximately two years. Timeline and construction updates will continue throughout this process.

The City of St. Petersburg apologizes for the inconvenience and appreciates your patience and cooperation.

Additionally, the public is still advised to avoid contact with Riviera Bay until further notice and water quality testing is completed. Updates can be found at www.stpete.org/RecWaterQuality.

For questions, please reach out to Matt Wilson at (727) 892-5658.

Thank you.

Tampa Bay’s 10 Article

Last Friday, Aug. 18, an unexpected break in one of the sewage lines resulted in 600 gallons of wastewater pouring into Riviera Bay. Yep, it’s as bad as it sounds. And just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, the following day, a whopping 10,000 gallons found its way into the bay. This happened while dedicated crews were in the midst of repairing that problematic line and containing the leakage.

City officials are on top of things, though. They’ve started water quality testing in Riviera Bay to determine the environmental impact. As we await the results, the recommendation is clear: steer clear of Riviera Bay.

So, for everyone’s safety and to keep things smooth while repairs are ongoing, let’s plan our routes accordingly and avoid the San Martin Boulevard Bridge. And for my fellow nature enthusiasts, I know it’s tempting, but let’s give Riviera Bay a miss until we get the all-clear.

Stay safe, everyone, and let’s hope the bay returns to its pristine state soon.

St. Pete Times Article

From RBCA RE: Sewage Spill:

Hi Neighbors! The city of St Pete has released the following statement regarding Riviera Bay:

“Wastewater Discharge Notification – 8-20-2023

On August 19, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. approximately 10,000 additional gallons of wastewater was discharged into Riviera Bay while attempting to contain an active force main leak.

The discharge into Riviera Bay has been stopped while City crews conduct repairs to the 24-inch main. Repairs are expected to be completed by Tuesday, August 22.

The public is advised to avoid contact with Riviera Bay until further notice and water quality testing is completed.

Full release: https://www.stpete.org/news_detail_T30_R738.php

City’s Release RE Sewage Spill:

Wastewater Discharge Notification – 8-20-2023

Aug. 20, 2023 – On August 19, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. approximately 10,000 additional gallons of wastewater was discharged into Riviera Bay while attempting to contain the below active force main leak.

The discharge into Riviera Bay has been stopped while City crews conduct repairs to the 24-inch main. Repairs are expected to be completed by Tuesday, August 22. 

The public is advised to avoid contact with Riviera Bay until further notice and water quality testing is completed. 

Expect intermittent road closures at the San Martin Blvd. NE Bridge while containment efforts and construction work is ongoing.

Again, current containment efforts are underway and effectively capturing the sewage as it leaks from the pipe, including the construction of a pit lined with sandbags. City crews are utilizing vacuum trucks (vactors) onsite to pull the sewage out of the pit, preventing any additional leakage into the bay. All sewage vacuumed from the containment pit is trucked away for full treatment in the City’s wastewater facilities.

Original discharge notification: On August 18, 2023, approximately 800 gallons of wastewater was discharged at the 8400 block of Tallahassee Dr. NE due to a line break. Approximately 600 gallons flowed to Riviera Bay.

From a Neighbor to Brandi Gabbard

Can you pass this on to those involved with the sewage spill clean up.  The spill ended up in Sunlit Cove on Saturday morning so I’m assuming it traveled down during the Friday spill.  I thought some one had emptied a green algae pool into the canal.  The clumps of muck was floating on the surface around our docks.

Just want to make sure they aren’t just looking at Riviera Bay to clean up, it is also in other parts of the Riviera Bay Civic and Homeowners neighborhood.

Brandi Gabbard’s response RE Sewage Spill:

…yes I will pass this info along. I know they are testing all over the area and so far it is showing that the spill was contained to Rivera Bay. There were inversion issues in Riviera Lake but that was coincidental seeing as how the aeration pump was turned off at some point and when they turned it back on over the weekend it ended up killing fish in the lake. Regardless we are testing there as well to be sure. If we find anything else, we will be sure to let everyone know. As of last evening no further spill is occuring and even prior to that we have been able to keep the intrusion into the body of water to the initial 10,000 gallons from Saturday. 

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