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Water-Related News

Venice Stormwater Project Ignores Contamination Question

The City of Venice is designing a $2 million project to reroute two major stormwater pipes that spew untreated bacteria-laden stormwater onto the beach during heavy rains.

Florida is ringed with thousands of these pipes, called outfalls, with hundreds in Southwest Florida alone. They are the legacy of antiquated development whose goal was to get water off roads the quickest way possible.

While everyone agrees less stormwater going into the Gulf is a good thing, some scientists say the city is moving too fast with an expensive project before it gets a handle on what has been causing beach contamination.

Not only have officials been baffled by the high fecal counts that closed Venice Beach during the height of spring break, earlier test results show human waste is going into stormwater outfalls and no one knows why.

Testing from two years ago that came to light recently as the...