Reclaimed transmission line ruptured by horizontal drilling contractor
St. Petersburg, Fla. (July 5, 2018) – A leak of about 500,000 gallons of fully-treated Reclaimed Water leaked from a ruptured trunk (transmission) line near the intersection of Fourth Avenue North and 22nd Street North Thursday afternoon.
A contractor was horizontally drilling beneath the surface to install phone conduit when they drilled into the side of the City’s 24” Reclaimed Water main. The contractor said that the drill bit they were using was approximately 4” – so it is estimated that the hole in the pipe is 4” as well.
The unauthorized discharge – which was reported at 12:25 pm – was fully stopped around 2:45 pm. City crews were able to shut down the main, pump out the hole and verify that there was no further leakage through the valves. About a dozen Reclaimed Customers' service will be interrupted until the leak can be fully repaired.
Reclaimed water entered the storm drain system which conveys underground to Brooker Creek. Approximately 500,000 entered the storm water system with an unknown volume reaching Brooker Creek.
It appears that while the contractor did have an active utility locate for the work ongoing in the area, all lines were marked except for the Reclaimed Water main. Further review of the utility locate actions are being initiated.
The City of St. Petersburg Environmental Compliance Division will conduct sampling in nearby waters and conduct quality tests -- as is standard operating procedure when a Reclaimed Water discharge is greater than 10,000 gallons.
Repairs were largely completed Friday, July 6 but repaving work will not be finished until early next week. The intersection – and nearby roadways – could be impacted by that construction.