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Forcemain repaired after contractor error; preliminary tests show Hudson Bayou safe

Forcemain repaired after contractor error; preliminary tests show Hudson Bayou safe

Sarasota, FL:    A forcemain ruptured by a contractor yesterday afternoon at a construction site on Osprey Avenue near the Hudson Bayou is now repaired.  Service was restored by 10:30 p.m. last night.  Preliminary environmental tests show no indication of fecal matter in the Hudson Bayou.  Initially, it was believed 200 gallons of sewage may have made its way into the bayou.  

Crews from Westra Inc. accidently damaged a 14-inch concrete pipe while working with heavy machinery near it.  The flow of the forcemain was diverted into an adjacent 30-foot deep pit which was part of Westra’s construction project.  From there, the effluent was pumped into trucks and delivered to the wastewater treatment plant.  

Environmental tests were conducted again this morning on the Hudson Bayou. While preliminary reports show no fecal matter in the bayou, the City of Sarasota will continue to monitor the water quality for 48 hours.

Sewage spills into Hudson Bayou

Sewage spills into Hudson Bayou

Sarasota, FL -- The City of Sarasota is currently working on forcemain break that spilled nearly 200 gallons of sewage into Hudson Bayou this afternoon.

The city says, around 1:30 p.m., a contractor with Westra, Inc. accidentally broke a 14-inch forcemain while working on a construction site on Osprey Avenue.

Environmental tests are being conducted and sewage flow is being contained in a nearby pit and diverted into pumper trucks.

City of Sarasota residents are urged to minimize their water usage until approximately 11 p.m. Monday while crews work to isolate and repair the break.

New website connects students to county’s cultural riches

New website connects students to county’s cultural riches

Sarasota County, Florida – Although Sarasota County enjoys a wealth of artistic, scientific, historical and environmental resources, thousands of local children have never seen a play, heard an orchestra, toured a museum, visited an aquarium or explored a nature park.

Teachers try to incorporate these experiences into the school year to make learning exciting and relevant, but they may not know what is available or the best organization to call. To connect classrooms to this community’s cultural treasures, a new website, http://EdExploreSRQ.com, is now available to help teachers discover these opportunities and make them more accessible to students.

Public reminded to protect against mosquito-borne viruses

Public reminded to protect against mosquito-borne viruses

Sarasota County, Florida -- Local health officials remind residents that mosquito activity is increasing in Sarasota County as the typical summer rain pattern continues. Currently, our sentinel chicken flocks, which serve as an indicator of mosquito-borne illness in our community, have shown some evidence of West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission in Sarasota County.

WNV is a potentially serious illness that is most often spread by the bite from an infected mosquito.

Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite.

County seeks volunteers for seagrass survey

County seeks volunteers for seagrass survey

Sarasota County, Florida - Want to help scientists study the county's bays and protect area water resources? Then volunteering to survey seagrass beds may be just the thing for you.

Sarasota County Environmental Services will hold a training session for volunteers on Saturday, July 30. The training takes place from 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. at Turtle Beach Community Center, 8919 Midnight Pass Road. The rain date is Sunday, July 31 at the same time and location.

Urfer Family Park and historic Wilson House win gold for sustainability

Urfer Family Park and historic Wilson House win gold for sustainability

Sarasota, Florida -- Urfer Family Park and the historic C.B. Wilson House, 4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota, have been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Urfer Family Park, which opened to the public on Nov. 14, 2009, was constructed with many state-of-the-art sustainable techniques, processes and materials. Some of the more noteworthy sustainability features of the park include:

Sheriff's Office encourages Hazard Preparedness

Sheriff's Office encourages Hazard Preparedness

Sarasota County, Florida -- As hurricane season heats up and the second named storm of the year churns off the Florida coast, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents to create hazard preparedness plans and directing them to county resources to do so.

The Sheriff’s Office has added an “All Hazards Be Prepared” button to the bottom of its SarasotaSheriff.org home page. The link takes citizens to the well-developed online resources provided by Sarasota County Emergency Management.

The Emergency Management page includes information on current weather conditions and storm warnings, evacuation zones, available shelters, disaster kits and more.