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An accidental sewage spill in Miami’s Biscayne Bay prompted Miami-Dade County authorities to ban fishing, boating and other water activities such as swimming in an area that is still posted as of Tuesday with no access signs.
According to a county statement, a contractor performing “directional drilling” near Northeast 4th Street and First Avenue in downtown Miami struck a 60-inch (1.50-meter) diameter sewer pipe on Monday afternoon, resulting in a sewage spill into the bay.
Miami-Dade Water and Sewerage Department (WASD) crews stopped the spill, secured the site and diverted flows, but a ban on water activities remains active on Tuesday.
The preliminary investigation determined that the spill has affected surface waters, the statement said.
No swimming, fishing and boating signage has been posted north of the Julia Tuttle causeway, the eastern boundary of the bay’s intracoastal waterway, Virginia Key Beach and what is known as “Dog Beach.”
The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade and the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources are testing the water in these areas, so the water activity ban remains in effect until two consecutive days of testing have passed since the start of repairs.
“Emergency repairs will begin as soon as possible,” the statement said onMonday, although Local 10 television said the work is expected to begin Tuesday.
Also, the county stated that “no one will be without wastewater service as a result of this outage or during the repairs.”