Sewage spills into wetlands; advisory posted


staff reports

NICEVILLE — Parts of Choctawhatchee Bay are under a health advisory Friday following a sewage spill at the intersection of Bay Drive and Ward Cove Drive in unincorporated Niceville.

The health advisory stretches from State Road 20 to Sunset Cove, the Okaloosa County Water and Sewer (OCWS) said in a press release.

Approximately 6,000 gallons of sewage spilled, overflowing into a storm drain that discharges into unnamed wetlands on the west side of Bay Drive between Marina Cove Drive and Lido Circle West.

The wetlands ultimately discharge into Choctawhatchee Bay, the release said.

According to OCWS, people in the area are urged to take precautions when in contact with the affected bodies of water.

Water contaminated with wastewater presents several health hazards to humans and may contain untreated human sewage with microbes that could cause gastrointestinal and other diseases.

Anyone who comes into contact with the affected waterway should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking.

Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems, are particularly vulnerable to disease, so every precaution should be taken if in contact with the affected waters.

The OCWS said, however, the sewage did not get into any drinking water sources and water available through the public water system is safe to drink.

OCWS will continue to conduct water sampling and testing in the area until the bacteria levels are within the recommended standard.

The spill was contained and cleanup action have been completed.