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City Statement on Waste Water Discharges in February, April 2022

The City of Titusville Water Resources Department issued the following statement in regards to two previous wastewater discharges in February and April 2022

On February 8, 2022, City of Titusville Water Resources field crews discovered a damaged 3-inch force main located near A. Max Brewer Memorial Causeway. Although this leak occurred on a line that only served one customer and was associated with a lift station with limited run times, Titusville regards any leak associated with its sewerage system as an emergency.

Titusville crews immediately acted to shut down the lift station and repair the leak. The quick response from our crews limited the discharge to approximately 50 gallons (less than the volume of an average size bathtub) and minimized impact to the Indian River Lagoon. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) assessed the minimum penalty of $750 for this violation.

On April 5, 2022, the City’s contractor for the Osprey Nutrient Removal Upgrade Project at the Osprey Water Reclamation Facility was excavating an area where pipe work was to be performed. The excavation exposed the wastewater pipe coming into the treatment unit. Upon examination, workers discovered the exposed line was damaged and had begun to leak.

Again, Titusville crews immediately initiated an emergency repair response. The repair, which required further excavation and removal of sewage, took place over a 7-day period. During this time the excavation area was outfitted with a redundant pump system that was monitored on a twenty-four basis to ensure no sewage escaped the work area. All of the leaked sewage was recovered and sent back to the head of the plant for treatment. Approximately 175,200 gallons of sewage was returned back to the plant for treatment.

The entire discharge event occurred on the Osprey Water Reclamation Facility site. No sewage was discharged to Indian River Lagoon. As this was a multi-day event, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) assessed a penalty of $15,000 for this violation.

In lieu of paying the penalty to the FDEP, the city will be pursuing a Pollution Prevention project within the Water Resources Department to mitigate the penalty on a dollar for dollar basis.

What’s the City doing about it?

Wastewater System Upgrades/Protecting the Indian River Lagoon

The City of Titusville has performed an analysis and modeling of its sewerage system and is moving forward with an aggressive schedule of pipe replacement and improvements to reduce and/or eliminate potential vulnerabilities to breaks and leaks and their negative environmental impacts. Two important projects underway are the Osprey Nutrient Removal Upgrade Project and the Indian River Avenue Force Main Project.

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Osprey Nutrient Removal Upgrade Project

The Osprey Nutrient Removal Upgrade Project is scheduled to be completed this coming winter. This project is the result of a partnership between the City of Titusville, the Save Our Indian River Lagoon (SOIRL) Project Plan, and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD).

The Osprey Nutrient Removal Upgrade Project upgrades the Osprey facility’s biological, chemical, and physical treatment processes, so that the reclaimed water (treated effluent) produced by the plant will contain reduced amounts of Total Nitrogen (TN) and Total Phosphorus (TP). The upgrades are anticipated to result in an annual reduction of approximately 22,000 lbs. of Nitrogen from the reclaimed water.

Reclaimed water, which is used for irrigation, can leach nutrients into the groundwater and ultimately surface water bodies, including the Indian River Lagoon. Excessive irrigation with reclaimed water results in runoff, which enters the stormwater system and ends up in local waterways such as the Indian River Lagoon. By reducing the amount of nutrients in the reclaimed water we produce, we reduce the amount of nutrients flowing into waterways. This is turn helps to prevent nutrient overloads and improve the health of our waterways.

Indian River Avenue Force Main Project
The City of Titusville is scheduled to start construction on the Indian River Avenue Force main project this fall. The project will replace over 9,000 feet of sewage force main located along the Indian River Lagoon, starting from the South Street Lift Station and continuing to the Osprey Water Reclamation Facility on Buffalo Road.

Replacing this main is a vital part of our efforts to protect the Indian River Lagoon. Due to its location, any leaks, and/or breaks from the sewer force main would have detrimental effects on the Indian River Lagoon. Age, erosion, extreme weather (hurricanes and storms), maintenance, or human error, could all cause this main to fail, which would cause irreparable harm to this fragile estuary.

The Indian River Avenue Force main project has an estimated total construction cost of $5 million. State Revolving Funds of $4,889,000 have been awarded for the project, along with an additional $300,000 from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Michael Lynch
Author: Michael Lynch

Raised on the Space Coast, I want to keep North Brevard informed of what's happening. Send Tips / Story Ideas to TitusvilleMedia@gmail.com

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