Roughly 300,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled in Jacksonville creeks

Despite JEA having said this situation was addressed of after Hurricane Matthew, just under 300,000 gallons of raw sewage has leaked into Jacksonville creeks.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Roughly 300,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled in the Arlington and Southside areas due to heavy rain on Sunday, according to the JEA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

According to the DEP, roughly 200,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Ginhouse Creek, 90,000 gallons went into Pottsburg Creek and 500 went into Strawberry Creek.

All three spills have since been cleaned up and the areas of the spills are being monitored, according to JEA.

Barbara Gay, who lives right next to the JEA lift station where the Pottsburg Creek spill occurred, said she was never notified of the spill.

Aside from the occasional bad smells she normally experiences and several trucks in the area on Sunday, she said nothing seemed different as of Sunday.

"I know there's an odor and sometimes it's a lot worse than normal, smells like gases," Gay said.

Millions of gallons of raw sewage spilled after Hurricane Matthew. It amounted to more than one-million gallons of sewage alone near Gay's home.

JEA CEO Paul McElroy told First Coast News back in April that the utility was adding more generators and conducting a comprehensive review of their sewer collection system to help prevent sewage spills from happening again.

A JEA spokesperson said the recent spills were a result of flash flooding and not an electrical outage, meaning the increase in generators since the hurricane had no impact.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said water with raw sewage can make you sick if you swim in it. It can also lead to more toxic green algae, similar to what we've been seeing popping up in bodies of water around the First Coast, she said.

Rinaman said she believes the spills are due to outdated infrastructure.

The JEA spokesperson said that's not the case and that they will have additional investigations to to fight raw sewage spills in the future.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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