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Posted on: July 9, 2019

Temporary swimming advisory in place for Watson Bayou

The City of Panama City discovered a sewage leak in a heavily wooded storm water ditch located in the 600 Block of N. Palo Alto Avenue. The City’s Public Works Department took immediate action to stop the leak and repair the broken sewer line.

While it is unknown at this time when the leak started and how many gallons of sewage was leaked, the City has determined that sewage was discharged into Watson Bayou.

The Bay County Health Department advises against swimming in Watson Bayou between 10th Street and Business Highway 98 until further notice. Sewage contamination of water can expose bathers to intestinal viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

“I appreciate the rapid response of our Public Works Department, contractors, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Health Department to pull together and fix the pipe,” said City Manager Mark McQueen.  “As a result, I have directed my team to replace the entire line to ensure a resilient pipeline system is in place adjacent to the water.”

The City has notified the FDEP of the leak and will continue to test the water in Watson Bayou until test results show the water is clear.

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