Sewage Intentionally Pumped Into Bivens Arm Lake
GAINESVILLE - A hotel maintenance manager has been arrested for dumping thousands of gallons of raw sewage into a North Central Florida lake.
He was waiting to fix a sewage pump at the Paramount Plaza Hotel when the spill took place.
TV 20 tried to speak to the hotel Thursday to ask why exactly the man didn't just wait for the pump to get fixed, but instead intentionally pumped sewage into the Bivens Arm Lake.
The hotel refused to give us any kind of comment.
James Lemongelli is being charged with a misdemeanor for purposely pumping that waste into the environment.
Alachua County Environmental Protection issued a citation, and it was the state attorney who filed criminal action against the man.
TV 20 spoke to the Alachua County Water resources manager who told us it's rare for the Department of Environmental Protection to arrest someone for sewage disposal.
"This was not an accident …their pump was broken and they were waiting on it to get fixed… so essentially while they were waiting, their solution was to pipe it into the lake, which was not the best solution."
The water manager told us the sewage has long been cleaned up.
The short-term affects being sewage contamination which can make you sick, and the long-term affects are putting two many nutrients into the lake which causes algae growth.
The pumping happened in March and was called in through an anonymous tip.
Environmental Protection stressed the importance of this tip because they say they probably would not have known about the problem had the person not called it in.
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