Sewage discharged into Watson Bayou, swimming advisory issued

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. – A temporary swimming advisory has been issued for Watson Bayou after The City of Panama City discovered a sewage leak in a heavily wooded storm water ditch located in the 600 Block of N. Palo Alto Avenue.

The City has determined that the sewage was discharged into Watson Bayou.

The City’s Public Works Department took immediate action to stop the leak and repair the broken sewer line, but it’s unknown at this time when the leak started or how many gallons of sewage was leaked.

The Bay County Health Department advises against swimming in Watson Bayou between 10th Street and Business Highway 98 until further notice. Sewage contamination of water can expose bathers to intestinal viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

“I appreciate the rapid response of our Public Works Department, contractors, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Health Department to pull together and rapidly fix the pipe,” said City Manager Mark McQueen.  “As a result, I have directed my team to replace the entire line to ensure a resilient pipeline system is in place adjacent to the water.”

The City has notified the FDEP of the leak and will continue to test the water in Watson Bayou until test results show the water is clear.

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