County officials have given the all-clear for swimming for many Key Biscayne beaches after three million gallons of treated wastewater spilled Saturday night. But a no-swim advisory remains in place at Crandon Park North and South beaches while testing continues.
“The areas around the site of the spill were compliant right after the spill, but we don’t have two successive days for the Crandon beaches,” said Jennifer Messemer-Skold, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.
A no-swim advisory also remains in place for the water in and around Miami Marine Stadium.
Beaches in Key Biscayne from the park south, including Bill Baggs Cape Florida, are open for swimming, she said.
Some of the spilled wastewater — which had been chlorinated — was picked up by vacuum trucks after an 80-minute power outage caused a backup at the Virginia Key sewage plant. But an unknown amount of wastewater entered Shrimper’s Lagoon, prompting the precautionary no-swim warnings. The wastewater is normally piped a mile and half offshore.
Messemer-Skold said it’s possible the additional swimming clearances could be issued later Thursday.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.