On Monday, August 15, 2011, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) experienced a pipe failure in a 12-inch “Force Main,” located on Greenbriar Boulevard, releasing approximately 1.4 million gallons of untreated sewage.


At 9:50 a.m., Water Reclamation operations staff noticed a discrepancy in flows between the major lift stations and the influent flow meter at the Central Water Reclamation Facility (CWRF).  A ruptured pipe was discovered in the old force main carrying flows from Lift Station #11, with discharge released into the wetlands of Thompson Bayou.  Emergency crews and tanker trucks were immediately dispatched to the affected site to help contain the spill.


Operators initiated steps to minimize the wastewater being pumped to the CWRF and to minimize the wastewater leaking from the broken force main. At 10:40 a.m. the isolation valve was closed at the connection between the old force main and the new CWRF transmission system.


At 11:50 a.m. a temporary by-pass line was completed from the Lift Station to ECUA tanker trucks and the discharge was stopped. At that time the Authority notified the State Warning Point, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Escambia County Health Department.