Florida needs to improve sewage systems, enviro group says
Hurricane Irma caused massive sewage overflows in Florida, prompting an environmental group to call on local communities to improve infrastructure to prevent that from happening again when the next big storm hits.
“Hurricanes are a fact of life in Florida, but sewage in our streets and bays shouldn’t be,” said Jennifer Rubiello, state director of Environment Florida. “As these storms get more severe and frequent, we have to be ready for some pretty challenging conditions. We’re not ready now.”
The Department of Environmental Protection has received more than 200 cases of sewage spills since Irma barreled through Florida 10 days ago.
Environment Florida, Florida PIRG and the Frontier Group released a factsheet Wednesday demonstrating that many of the sewer systems in the state’s biggest coastal cities were unable to handle the strong rains and winds that a hurricane like Irma delivered.
Advocates say that the bacteria and viruses in wastewater can infect humans and animals.