Sewage spill in Starke causes environmental concerns

STARKE, Fla., (WCJB) --- Residents at the Whispering Oaks apartment complex in Starke are still recovering after a sewage spill on Monday.

"We estimate that about 50,000 gallons of raw sewage did in fact spill from this property on to adjoining properties," said Bob Milner, Starke city manager.

City officials say the equipment for the private lift station was dated and not properly maintained.

"Our staff advised management as to what they need to do, some lime was applied which is a typical application for raw sewage once its reached on to the ground and other protectants measures were put into place to try and keep people away from it," said Milner.

And while things are getting back to normal for residents, there is another environmental concern.

"We have a concern certainly with that much sewage going down through the woods that it could possibly reach Alligator Creek," stated Milner.

While there isn't a clear timetable as to when the spill clean up will be completed city officials are working with apartment management to make sure another spill doesn't happen.

"Really from this point moving forward it's up to the Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Wildlife Commission working with management here to remediate any damage that may have been done and also to ensure to the best of their ability and our ability that these kinds of spills occur again because," said Milner.

TV20 did receive a statement from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection stating "Staff is currently evaluating this incident to determine appropriate enforcement actions to be taken against the apartment complex."