Reports of blue-green algae ‘too soon’ to link to Longboat sewage spill
The break that spilled about 26 million gallons of wastewater into the Sarasota Bay occurred in a section of pipe on undeveloped mangrove-lined land
MANATEE COUNTY — The mangroves looked gaunt — bare with no green leaves for the wind to rustle.
Tire marks rutted the ground, the mud still glistening in the summer sun and clinging to Longboat Key Public Works Director Isaac Brownman’s heavy work boots. Horseflies buzzed and landed on his shirt.
Brownman pointed ahead toward where — a week ago — crews drained at least a swimming pool’s worth of wastewater before repairing Longboat Key’s main sewer transmission pipe.
“This mangrove area was pretty swampy,” said Brownman, referring to the area where a sewer line rupture sent wastewater spewing into Sarasota Bay. “You can’t really bring trucks or heavy equipment back here to stabilize this.”
The break that spilled about 26 million gallons of wastewater into the Sarasota Bay occurred in a section of pipe on undeveloped mangrove-lined land at Long Bar Pointe on the Manatee County mainland. The spill site was about a football field’s length from Sarasota Bay.
Reports of pileups of blue-green algae called
Lyngbia have been reported as far north as Perico Island in Manatee County and as far south as the Roberts Bay islands near Venice, but they’re not yet being linked to the spill.