Just in time for the weekend, officials say testing has cleared all Key Biscayne beaches for swimmers, ending a week of warnings from a three million gallon leak of treated wastewater from the Virginia Key sewage plant.
Water and Sewer Department spokeswoman Jennifer Messemer-Skold said tests from the Florida Department of Health gave the green light for the beaches at Crandon Park North and South, as well as the waters near the Miami Marine Stadium. Beaches further south on the island — including Bill Bags Cape Florida — were cleared earlier.
The department issued precautionary warnings when a power outage caused the wastewater to spill Saturday night. Work crews tried to vacuum up the polluted water, but some flowed into Shrimper’s Lagoon. Although the wastewater was chlorinated, safety rules required a no-swim warning until there were two successive days of clear tests.
The wastewater is normally piped a mile and a half offshore, but Messemer-Skold said the Department is working to end that practice by 2025 under state clean water legislation.
If you’re headed to the beach this weekend, you can expect sunny weather Saturday and Sunday. The National Weather Service says daytime highs will hit 86 degrees with light winds.
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.