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Sewer main break spills 9,000 gallons of wastewater into Bass Lake in Fort Walton Beach

A ruptured sewer main in Fort Walton Beach spilled an estimated 10,600 gallons of untreated wastewater on Saturday evening, with approximately 9,000 gallons entering Bass Lake, city officials reported.
City of Fort Walton Beach

A ruptured sewer main in Fort Walton Beach spilled an estimated 10,600 gallons of untreated wastewater on Saturday evening, with approximately 9,000 gallons entering Bass Lake, city officials reported.

  • The City of Fort Walton Beach received a call at approximately 6:10 p.m. on July 6, 2024, regarding what was later determined to be a broken 12-inch cast-iron forcemain on Lakeview Road NW. Crews stopped the flow to the forcemain at 10:00 p.m. and completed repairs by midnight on July 7.

In response to the spill, the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH-Okaloosa) issued a health advisory for Bass Lake and Dons Bayou. The advisory warns that waters contaminated with wastewater may contain untreated human sewage with microbes that could cause gastrointestinal and other diseases.

“Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems, are particularly vulnerable to disease,” the DOH-Okaloosa stated. The department advises anyone who comes into contact with the affected waterway to wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking.

City of Fort Walton Beach

The City of Fort Walton Beach reported that cleanup operations lasted until 1:30 a.m. on July 7 and are ongoing. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, cleanup actions included vacuuming, applying disinfectant and lime, and washing down the area.

City officials noted that Bass Lake has a control structure connecting to Dons Bayou and Choctawhatchee Bay. The city is performing water quality monitoring and testing. The health advisory will remain in effect until satisfactory results are achieved.

Residents and visitors seeking more information about the potential health effects of the wastewater overflow can contact DOH-Okaloosa at (850) 833-9247 or visit www.HealthyOkaloosa.com.

The drinking water supply is not affected by this advisory, according to health officials.

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“Is the child still living? Great job saving this baby.”
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“Just around the corner in Mossy Head!”
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“Called the number listed 850 882 6258 which asks for a mailbox number. Not helpful. Looking for more information on hiring event scheduled for July 24 & July 25”
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“The baby floated from their boat about 100 ft down to my boat, where family members seen bathing suit and the wife's sent alex over to get it. When he...”
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“Not a good idea, it will block traffic both at entry and exit. There is also too much water drainage that would have nowhere to go and cause flooding. Just...”
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“What is an 11 month old doing in the water by itself?”
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“Congratulations to you, Dr. Kelley!”
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“Agreed. We made several phone calls to get a picture of Mr. Hinely. We were not provided one.”
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“It would have been nice to see a photo of Mr. Hinely”
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