Sewage Spills into Florida River Due to Electrical Failure Subwayatrain at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sewage Spills into Florida River Due to Electrical Failure

Jacksonville Electric Authority reported the leak earlier this week.

Millions of gallons of sewage has flowed into the Ortega River in Florida after an electrical fault caused pumps to turn off during the peak of Hurricane Matthew. Jacksonville Electric Authority reported the leak earlier this week.

According to Action News Jax, the failure happened at the master wastewater lift station in Southwest Jacksonville around 2 p.m. this past Sunday.

Officials warned people not to swim and fish in the river after at least 5 million gallons of sewage leaked into it.

The pump was offline for approximately 7 1/2 hours as crews were forced to stand down during high wind conditions, JEA said. The sewage flowed into the river until the pumps were reset just before midnight. 

A spill of this size is extremely rare and happens maybe once every 10 years, JEA said. This spill was unusual because crews were not able to be out on the streets during the peak of Hurricane Matthew.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been notified.

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