Repairs are made to a wastewater breach near Weedon Island Preserve
Repairs have finally been completed on a leak that poured more than 10,000 gallons of wastewater into an area containing sensitive wetlands in St. Petersburg. It took several days to fix the break.
About 10,600 gallons of wastewater spilled into Riviera Bay, which borders the Weedon Island Preserve — named as an Outstanding Florida Water.
People are still being advised to avoid contact with waters in the bay until further notice.
The spill was first reported Friday night on a two-foot-wide sewage line on Tallahassee Drive Northeast, which borders the bay. The line runs to the city's nearby Northeast water reclamation facility.
At first, officials said 800 gallons had spilled, with 200 gallons recovered. But by Sunday, it was reported that an additional 10,000 gallons had poured into the bay. City officials say they plan to replace the roughly mile-long pipeline.
"It was determined that the entire 1-mile section of pipe has exceeded its useful life and immediate replacement is necessary," said St. Petersburg spokeswoman Erica Riggins in a prepared statement. "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."
She said during normal operations, the daily flow through the pipe totals two million gallons.
Workers are now installing 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. This is expected to take as long as two years.
City officials say there will be delays because of the construction along Patica Road Northeast, San Martin Boulevard Northeast and Tallahassee Drive North, with intermittent road closures at the San Martin Boulevard bridge.