Water-Related News

Utilities crews successfully bypass damaged pipe

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• Hidden Lake passes water quality test
• Normal service returns
• Voluntary water use restrictions lifted in Palm Harbor

Pinellas County Utilities crews worked overnight to successfully complete the construction of a bypass of the damaged sewer force main pipe that failed on Oct. 4. The bypass installation lifts voluntary restrictions on water usage and restores normal service to Utilities customers in the impacted area.

The temporary bypass also provides the most efficient solution for replacing the damaged pipe. Made from quickly fusible, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, the bypass now allows crews to proceed with planning and installation of the permanent pipe replacement.

Utilities also received today new sample findings for bacteria from Palm Harbor water areas that initially did not meet the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) surface water quality criteria. Confirmed findings from the two remaining test sites at Hidden Lake met the water quality criteria. Two of the four samples from retention ponds north of the sewer force main break at Eniswood Parkway also met the water quality criteria. The remaining two sites continue to be sampled and tested to ensure acceptable water quality. Advisory signage will remain at these two sites, reminding recreationists not to come into contact with that water.

Yesterday, Utilities confirmed that Sutherland Bayou and other areas of Hidden Lake had passed the FDEP water quality criteria test.

Utilities will issue notifications when conditions are safe at the remaining sites and residents can return to normal recreational activities in those areas.

A small section of Eniswood Parkway between Enisgrove Drive and Bridlewood Drive will remain closed to allow access for heavy equipment and site restoration work that will continue into this week. As the service is restored, pumper trucks will discontinue to transport flow to the William E. Dunn Water Reclamation Facility for treatment. Pumper trucks will continue to be staged on Alderman Road as an added precaution until all operations return to normal over the next 24 hours.

Crews continue to work around the clock on cleanup and sanitation activities.

"Pinellas County Utilities expresses appreciation to residents in the impacted area for their water conservation efforts and their patience as crews worked diligently to restore service over the past several days," said Utilities Director Randi Kim. "We will continue to maintain our open lines of communication to keep them informed of future updates."

Utilities updates will be posted on the Pinellas County website and on the county's social media (Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor) as they become available. Utilities customers may also call Pinellas County Utilities Customer Service at (727) 464-4000.