City of Lakeland agrees to pay nearly $1M to clean up wastewater spill caused by broken line

The city of Lakeland will be paying nearly $1 million to clean up a major wastewater spill.

The line break was discovered in a wetland area off an industrial complex in south Lakeland.

Lakeland City Commissioners voted Monday to approve the appropriations to clean up the area off Gateway Boulevard where a broken wastewater line caused more than 1,000 gallons to spill.

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"This work was certainly unplanned and unbudgeted for, however, it's imperative the work commences as soon as possible," explained City Manager Shawn Sherrouse. "We're already into the rainy season but before the heavier part of the rain season begins because if the site becomes flooded, it will delay the work that's necessary."

The city will enter into an agreement with Bartow-based contractor, American Compliance Technology, to remove, replace, and dispose of the impacted soil.

A city spokesperson says the contractor estimates nearly 8,000 tons of soil will have to be extracted and replaced with 6,500 cubic yards of clean topsoil.

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The city has been working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to clean up the site.

The break was discovered in April after numerous complaints of foul odor from residents in the nearby Carillon Lakes neighborhood.

"It's never fun to have an emergency or pay for things you didn't expect but I just wanted to thank the residents of Carillon Lakes for bringing this to our attention," said Commissioner Stephanie Madden.

The cause of the break hasn't been determined.

There's no word yet on how long the removal and replacement of the contaminated soil could take as the contract was just approved. 

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