Up to 1,800 gallons of treated, disinfected wastewater was released into storm sewers on Lakeland Highlands Road this morning when a valve failed at the Glendale Wastewater Plant, the city of Lakeland announced. 

City officials described the release as “of no risk to the general public and of miniscule environmental impact.”

The announcement was made to comply with new state regulations requiring notification when pollutants are released.

[box]This post was updated at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 5 when additional information was made available.[/box]

The air relief valve that failed connects the sewage treatment plant to a nearby wetlands final treatment facility near 6150 Lakeland Highlands Road, city spokesman Kevin Cook said in a news release. About 10 to 15 gallons of treated effluent was released per minute for an hour or two, he said.

The problem was discovered around 9:45 a.m., and crews closed a valve to take pressure off the line.

“From the point of release, the water flowed into a county-owned storm drain and was conveyed to a retention pond in the vicinity of 2300 E. County Road 540A,” Cook said in a news release.

The city contacted the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in compliance with a new rule that requires a facility operator to notify the department of possible pollution, he said.

That rule was put into place after residents expressed concern about lack of notice when a sinkhole at the Mosaic New Wales plant in South Polk County poured polluted water into the aquifer.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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