PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The City of Panama City reported that a sewer overflow near the 300 block of Corto Street resulted in the release of more than 50,000 gallons of raw sewage.
The city said an electrical/mechanical failure at lift station #81, located just north of the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club, caused the sewer to overflow beginning Sunday afternoon around 2 pm.
The incident was reported to the city Sunday night, and the lift station was repaired by 8 am Monday morning. However, during the 18 hours that the lift station was not functioning properly 54,000 gallons of untreated sewage spilled out and entered a storm drain that discharged into St. Andrews Bay.
The Florida Department of Health in Bay County advises against swimming in St. Andrews Bay from Bunkers Point (E Beach Drive and Cherry Street) to Sudduth Point (Sudduth Avenue) until further notice.
Sewage contamination of water can expose swimmers to intestinal viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Swimming in the water may cause symptoms like food poisoning with vomiting and diarrhea. Infection is possible in open cuts and wounds that come in contact with the water.
The City of Panama City will test the water and share results with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Bay County Health Department. Once levels are safe, the advisory will be lifted.