• 1.2 million gallons of wastewater spills into Seminole County creek, officials say

    By: Jeff Levkulich

    Updated:

    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Officials with Utilities, Inc. reported that 1.2 million gallons of raw sewage spilled out of their wastewater treatment plant in Seminole County after filtering equipment malfunctioned. 

    The wastewater spilled into Sweetwater Creek, prompting residents to take precaution.

    Residents claim this isn't the first time they've had issues with the plant and that the experienced a spill during Hurricane Irma in 2017. 

    "It stinks," said resident Allison Cody.

    Cody said the spill doesn't surprise her and other residents of the neighborhood, claiming Utilities, Inc. has been a bad neighbor, pointing to nearly 40 years of newspaper articles and warning letters from the Department of Environmental Protection over discharges of wastewater into the creek.

    "You will find there is always an excuse and there is always some sort of mechanical breakdown," Cody continued. "Every now and then when you look at the articles you will find they have resolved the problems and then five, ten years later the problem still exists."

    The company admitted that an overflow from its fully treated ponds occurred during Hurricane Irma due to the high rainfalls into the yards of area homeowners. Company officials said there was no impact regarding fecal matter from the incident. 

    Utilities Inc. said it is taking all necessary steps to protect the public in the latest spill.

    The county health department is urging residents to stay away from the creek as it continues to monitor and test the water. 

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