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Sewer spill into Ware’s Creek resolved; cause remains a mystery

A sewer spill that released about 2,000 gallons of sewage into Ware’s Creek almost two weeks ago has been resolved, but the cause remains a mystery, according to Bradenton Public Works Director Jim McLellan.

“We never actually saw what it was,” McLellan said. “Essentially we were flushing the lines under the surcharged conditions, meaning our hoses were pushed into the sewer lines through manholes that were holding water and thus our hoses were fully submerged. When the blockage was released by the flushing, it too was under water and thus never seen.”

McLellan said the city is currently in the process of trying to video the lines after the fact to see if they can identify anything out of the ordinary that may have contributed to the blockage. McLellan said whatever the blockage was had been cleared on Oct. 7.

The leak began on Oct. 4 and city crews responded to pump the system, but sewage began leaking from the manhole in the 2800 block of 22nd Avenue West later that evening and continued to spill for about 20 hours. Crews initially tried to sandbag the leak to contain it, but the roadway began to flood spilling the sewage into nearby catch basins, which lead into the creek.