Dozens of Fort Lauderdale residents took to the streets and water to protest the recent sewer main breaks that plagued the area last month.
Signs held by boaters and land lovers on the New River voiced the displeasure of how city officials handled the six ruptures, which caused over 126 million gallons of sewage to spill into neighborhood streets and canals.
"Instead of the river that we have which is the New River that’s down in the canals and the Tarpon River it is now full of feces of everybody in the city," Resident Dayna MacDonald says. "It’s everybody’s New River of Poop!"
In a press release, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis put the blame on the city's previous administration. He says the previous management team's "denial" of the condition of Fort Lauderdale's infrastructure is what led them to this situation.
"You would think that installing new pipes and building new pump stations would not be the normally eye-catching news that grabs headlines, leads TV programs or lands on your Twitter feed," Trantalis writes. "But, here we are."
Trantalis revealed that the city was well aware of the deterioration of the 54-inch sewer line that caused the six sewer main breaks in December. He said plans had already been drawn up to rebuild the aging pipe.
"This pipe was installed in the 1970s and suffered from major corrosion. Worse, although it is the main line serving the center of the city, there was no back-up in case of problems. The situation should have been addressed long ago," Trantalis writes.
The city says it has now begun a five-year plan to replace the full seven mile line - which runs from the Coral Ridge Country Club to the sewage treatment plant in Port Everglades - along with several other infrastructure projects across the city.
Construction of the new line is scheduled to be completed in 18 months and will cost the city $65 million dollars.