Environmental

Miami Beach's Flood Pumps Send Human Waste Into Biscayne Bay

Miami Beach's stormwater pumps shoot water from the city's streets and drains into Biscayne Bay to combat flooding. You know what's in the water it pumps directly into the Bay from the streets? Unsurprisingly, some not so clean stuff. 

A new study of flood waters found incredibly high levels of both human and dog waste in the water. 

According to the Miami Herald, researchers from Florida International University's Southeast Environmental Research Center, the University of Miami, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began testing the water found around outfall pipes, portable pump discharges, and the street in 2014. They found high levels of discharges that can trigger algae blooms. They also found high levels of human waste. 

In fact, some sites had levels of feces 600 times the allowed state level. 


They believe the elevated levels may be due to old, leaky sewer pipes and septic tanks. Though, dog waste was also present. 

At the present time, the city only experiences less than a dozen major flooding incidents a year, but that flooding could increase to daily events by 2045, meaning the pumps would be running almost nonstop. 

The good news is that the elevated levels of pollutants were only found near the actual pumps, and haven't affected the rest of Biscayne Bay. 

The city says it's working to update sewer plumbing to prevent leaks. It will also remind people to pick up after their dog and not throw dog feces bags directly into street drains. 
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Kyle Munzenrieder