For the most up-to-date information regarding the lake, please subscribe to the Lake Alert service or call the Lake Alert hotline number, 407.246.2220.
General Sanitary Sewer Overflow
An overflow occurs when sanitary sewage leaves its intended area and enters the environment.
Common causes of an overflow include, but are not limited to: grease or used cooking oil build up in the pipes, excess trash, flushable wipes, aging infrastructure and root intrusion.
In the event of an overflow, the city’s Water Reclamation staff is notified. The Water Reclamation response team is sent out to assess the situation, and if the overflow is from a public or city line, the team can stop the overflow, restore normal flow to the sewer system and clean the impacted areas.
The City of Orlando’s response team may provide guidance with the overflow response if the overflow is coming from a privately-owned sewer system. The Water Reclamation response team can help reduce the environmental impacts, but it is the responsibility of the owner of the private sewer system to call in their own contractor to stop the overflow, restore normal flow to the system and clean the impacted areas.
You should always avoid the impacted areas from a sewer overflow. By not exposing yourself to the raw sewage or the impacted areas, you greatly lower your risk of potential health issues. However, our risk is never zero. For more information visit floridahealth.gov.
If the sewer overflow impacts a lake in your area, you should avoid contact with the lake or contaminated water body. The biological processes of a lake can handle overflow impacts over time. The City of Orlando’s Stormwater team will assess these impacts and monitor the contamination levels. If you live on, near or around one of the lakes in the City of Orlando, you should sign up with the city’s Lake Alert system.
Look for signs around your neighborhood for areas to avoid. It is important not to go into these areas until the signs have been removed. Sign up for the City’s Lake Alerts as well for updated information.
For more information, view the FAQs below for updates on irrigation system impacts.
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Overflows into Lakes or Bodies of Water
The health of our lakes is one of the top priorities for the City of Orlando, and as such we do not add any extra chemicals to the lakes during these spills. Adding chemicals can affect the plants and wildlife that live in these lakes, and therefore we allow the water quality of the lake return to normal under natural conditions, with Stormwater personnel testing every three days, or as possible.
If there is a Lake Alert in effect, we do not advise swimming in the lake. For the most up-to-date information regarding the lake, please subscribe to the Lake Alert service and call the Lake Alert hotline number, 407.246.2220.
If there is a Lake Alert in effect, we do not advise allowing your dog(s) to swim. They may bring E. coli bacteria into the household after swimming in the lake.
If there is a Lake Alert in effect, we recommend staying out of the lake entirely until Stormwater personnel have lifted the Lake Alert.
Sewage can contain different types of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses that can cause intestinal, lung, and other infections. This is why when a Lake Alert is in effect we do not encourage resuming any normal water activities until the Lake Alert has been lifted.
A Lake Alert will be lifted when water quality levels have met acceptable surface water quality criteria. This may take several days or several months, depending on the cause of the Lake Alert and other factors like rainfall.
If there is a Lake Alert in effect, the city does not advise using your irrigation until the Lake Alert has been lifted and water quality conditions have returned to acceptable standards.
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