Emergency repairs continued Tuesday after a five-foot wastewater main was struck near downtown Miami, causing wastewater to spill into Biscayne Bay.
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department officials say a contractor performing drilling near Northeast 4th Street and 1st Avenue struck the main, causing some wastewater to spill into the bay before crews were able to stop it.
The site was secured and flows were rerouted during repairs, according to county officials.
As a result of the spill, no-swim signage to warn people to avoid other water recreational activities such as fishing and boating, have been posted in the following areas:
- Julia Tuttle Causeway to the north
- The eastern boundary of the Intracoastal Waterway to the east
- Virginia Key Beach/Dog Beach to the south
- Mainland to the west
The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County and the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources is testing the posted waters and the advisory remains in effect until two consecutive days of clear testing occur after repairs are completed.
"The contractor will have to pay a fine and the cost of the entire reparation process," said Jose Cueto, director of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.
The company Miami-Dade County says was involved in the sewer line break is one of those also being blamed in lawsuits for the July 17, 2019 break into a raw water pipe feeding the City of Fort Lauderdale water treatment plant, which had to be shut down and led to a four-day state of emergency
In July 2020, the City of Fort Lauderdale sued the company — Florida Communication Concepts Inc. (FCC) — (and Florida Power and Light, Infratech Corp. and Geo and Yu’s Corp.), alleging they’re responsible for boring a five-inch hole in the 42-inch water pipe near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.
The city alleges FCC used the wrong address when it applied for the “”Sunshine 811” ticket, giving it clearance to excavate and locate pipes or other underground infrastructure that need to be avoided.
The suit alleges negligence of all defendants.
FCC moved to dismiss, saying the location on the Sunshine 811 ticket included the surrounding area and the the city knew it. FCC also said the city told FCC prior to the excavation that the city was not a service provider for the location.
That lawsuit is still pending, as are others filed against FCC and others by businesses that had to close for days, unable to use city water.