PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Health officials have issued a swim advisory for Pretty Bayou after a construction incident resulted in more than 31,250 gallons of sewage leaking into a canal.
“A contractor working in the area of Highway 390 and Frankford Avenue broke a sewer force main while excavating,” officials wrote in a news release. “An estimated 31,250 gallons of sewage leaked from the broken line and entered a canal that feeds into Pretty Bayou. Lime powder was applied to treat the surface area.”
The Florida Department of Health in Bay County has issued a swimming advisory for Pretty Bayou or the canal feeding into it from Frankford Avenue to the Shoreline Circle Boat Ramp. 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 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.