On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) experienced a pipe failure in a 12-inch “Force Main.” Approximately 2.2 million gallons of untreated sewage was released into a heavily wooded area and ultimately into a wetland located on Thompson Bayou.


According to ECUA employees, there was a reduction in wastewater flow around 9:30am CDT. Originally, the loss of flow was first thought to be from telemetry failure during local lightning activity. An immediate investigation was initiated, and the source of the leak was discovered around 2:30pm CDT.


ECUA crews “valved-off” the affected area, and then used tankers to transport the wastewater into an additional lift station.  The repairs took approximately 2 hours to complete.


The affected area was cleaned-up, water quality samples were taken, and the State Warning Point, Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the Escambia County Health Department were provided the proper notifications.