Oviedo sewage backup caused by human error, officials say

Valve was not opened during Hurricane Irma

OVIEDO, Fla. – Neighbors in an Oviedo neighborhood said they want answers after raw sewage bubbled up from the ground when Hurricane Irma roared through Central Florida.

"You couldn't stand out here," Patty Spicuzza said. "Even now, depending on which way the wind blows, it's still an issue."

Spicuzza shot video of the sewage as it spewed from underground right into her front yard early Monday. She and her neighbor, Mike Gilly, said the sewage was also percolating from manhole covers up and down their street in the Carillon neighborhood.

"I went out here and looked, and it was just coming out and kept coming out," Gilly said.

At first, Seminole County officials said they thought it was a power failure at a water lift station causing the problems, but they said they found out it was human error.

Seminole County Commission Chairman John Horan told News 6 the sewage backup was caused by a valve not being opened in a pipe that connects the Carillon subdivision to the Iron Bridge Water Treatment Plant. Once it was opened, he said, the sewage went down.

On Wednesday night, News 6 watched as Seminole County crews started the cleanup process in Spicuzza's front yard, but she said she still wants assurances that this won't happen again.

Iron Bridge is run by the city of Orlando.

City officials told News 6 they are looking into what happened, but could not comment any further as they are busy restoring utilities knocked out by Hurricane Irma.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013. He is one of the station’s lead reporters. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.