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Titusville investigates fish kill at Osprey sewer plant

NewsTitusville investigates fish kill at Osprey sewer plant

Titusville's Osprey sewer plant is looking into high bacteria levels at a pond next to the plant, where fish recently floated up dead.

Titusville is investigating another fish kill in a pond next to sewage, this time right at the city’s Osprey sewer plant.

“We have not been able to put our eyes on anything that leads us to a spill,” said Kevin Cook, the city’s public works director.

As a precaution, city staff put sandbag barriers to stop contaminated water from leaving the pond and entering the Indian River Lagoon.  The city first learned of the fish kill on Wednesday, March 23.

“It’s not in the lagoon but they want to make sure the lagoon’s safe,” Jim Thomas, a spokesman for the city said of the high-bacteria recently found in the pond water next to the Osprey plant.

The fish kill at the city’s sewer plant happens as the city is being sued by span mother who’s lawsuit claims that a late 2020 sewage leak at Sand Point Park — the first signs of which were dead fish floating up in a park pond — paralyzed her son after he was paddleboarding in the lagoon near the park.

A sign saying Titusville is investigating a fish kill at a pond adjacent to the city's Osprey sewage treatment plant.

The city’s Public Works department continues to investigate a force main sewer pipe and sewer infrastructure in the area. But thus far, no indication of leaks have been found. “Inspections will continue until the cause of the fish kill has been determined or the E. coli and fecal coliform levels in the pond reduce, indicating that wastewater is no longer entering the pond. 

“Water quality samples continue to show low levels of E. coli and fecal coliform in the Indian River Lagoon in that area,” the city’s website says.

Titusville is looking into a fish kill near one of the city's sewer plants.

The city plans to keep testing the six areas of the lagoon, including one where the pond would outfall to the lagoon, one upstream and one downstream. The city also plans to continue testing in three different areas within the pond.

Sewage leaks and spill have angered some residents in recent years, especially the at least 7.2 million gallon leak from a pipe that breached in late 2020 under a pond at the city’s Sand Point Park.

The city currently is being sued over that sewage leak.

A sign saying Titusville is investigating a fish kill at a pond adjacent to the city's Osprey sewage treatment plant.

More:Titusville mother’s suit sspanys city’s sewspange spill pspanrspanlyzed her son

The Titusville mother’s suit asserts that the 2020 sewage leak at the city’s Sand Point Park led to her son’s paralysis after he was exposed to contaminated water flowing to the lagoon near the park, where he had been paddleboarding.

A pipe flows from a pond at Sand Point Park in Titusville, after a late December 2020 sewage spill was implicated in a die off of thousands of fish.

The boy’s mother filed the suit in November. FLORIDA TODAY is not naming the woman to protect the identity of her minor son.

Just before Christmas in 2020, thousands of fish began to die at Sand Point Park in Titusville. It wasn’t until three days later that city officials realized that a sewer pipe had burst at the bottom of a pond at Sand Point Park.

By the time the pipe wspans repspanired more thspann 7.2 million gspanllons of sewspange had flowed into retention ponds at the popular riverfront recreation area, ponds that release water to the Indian River Lagoon. About 3.4 million gallons of contaminated water from the ponds was recovered, city officials said, and sent back to the city’s sewer plant.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is set for April.


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