Waste Issues Still A Problem In Biscayne Bay


A no swim warning is still in effect for Biscayne Bay, two days after construction crews drilled through a 60-inch sewer main in downtown Miami.

“Biscayne Bay is sort of exquisitely sensitive to nutrient pollution,” said Rachel Silverstein, of Miami Waterkeeper. “It brings not only bacteria, viruses and other kinds of pathogens and chemicals, but also this nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that’s really harming Biscayne Bay. It results in the sea grass dying off, which we’ve seen, algae blooms and things like the fish kills we had last summer.”

Officials issued a no-swim advisory for waters south of the Julia Tuttle Causeway, down to Virginia Key, in between mainland Miami and the Intracoastal.

A five-foot wastewater main was struck near downtown Miami, causing wastewater to spill into Biscayne Bay.

A contractor performing drilling struck the main, causing some wastewater to spill into the bay before crews were able to stop it. The site was secured and rerouted during repairs, but a result of the spill is the no-swim signage to warn people to avoid fishing and boating.

The following areas are affected:

Julia Tuttle Causeway to the north

The eastern boundary of the Intracoastal Waterway to the east

Virginia Key Beach/Dog Beach to the south

Mainland to the west

The Florida Department of Health is testing the posted waters and the advisory remains in effect until two consecutive days of clear testing occur.

Photos by Getty Images


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