Septic Company confuses manholes, pumps raw sewage into bay

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) —Wayne Tankersley notice a horrible smell in the ditch next to the business where he works on Westshore Boulevard in Tampa.

“Oh, the smell. The smell was incredible,” said Tankersley.

Come to find out, the smell came from raw sewage that was being pumped into a storm sewer that feeds into the ditch.

“The trucks were showing up.. one after another pumping sewage into the street,” said Tankersley.

The owner of the company where Tankersley works called the city of Tampa, but nothing was done.

Then they called 8 On Your Side.

After a reporter made calls to the city, trucks from Seminole Septic arrived to pump out the problem they created.

Seminole Septic had been hired by the city to rehabilitate sewer lines in the area.

“The contractor apparently put four truck loads into the wrong manhole. It’s a total of about 20,000 gallons. It’s four truck loads it appears,” said Eric Weiss, the Director of Tampa’s Waste Water Department.

There are two manholes in the immediate vicinity of where the spill occurred on Westshore Boulevard.

One of the manholes, marked “sanitary sewer,” feeds into a line that ends up at a waste water treatment plant.

The other manhole is a storm water drain that feeds into the ditch, which flows into the bay.

It’s unclear how an employee of Seminole Septic could have made the mistake.

Weiss says the mess will be cleaned up and he will investigate and find out how it happened.

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