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Water-Related News

Sarasota County Commission addresses wastewater spills

Millions of gallons have been dumped from a Bee Ridge facility.

SARASOTA COUNTY — Local lawmakers for the first time on Friday publicly weighed in on issues plaguing the county’s largest wastewater plant following recent revelations millions of gallons of treated wastewater have been repeatedly dumped from the facility for years.

The Sarasota County Commission during a budget workshop on Friday applauded measures the county is taking to prevent more spills, while also acknowledging there’s more to be done to prevent the reoccurring problem.

It’s the first time commissioners publicly addressed the issue since the Herald-Tribune on March 20 reported clean water advocacy groups SunCoast Waterkeeper, Our Children’s Earth Foundation and Ecological Rights Foundation gave the county a required 60-day notice in late February of their plan to sue unless the county remedies the issues causing the spills.

The suit would allege that the county violated the federal Clean Water Act by repeatedly discharging treated wastewater from the Bee Ridge Wastewater Reclamation Facility and for repeated spills of raw and partially treated sewage throughout the county’s collection system and at its treatment plants.