The City of St Augustine has issued a precautionary notice to Historic City News readers regarding the use of area waterways including — San Sebastian and Matanzas Rivers, their tributary creeks including Hospital and Oyster Creeks, and Lake Maria Sanchez.
The widespread flooding caused by the extreme rainfall in recent days has overwhelmed the city’s sanitary sewer system in a number of locations resulting in several spills of raw sewage into area waterways as runoff.
The water quality in these areas will be tested once the rain event is over and testing will continue until contaminants from the spills are below established maximum limits for surface water bodies.
The city has posted warning signs at the various discharge locations. The absence of a posted notice should not be taken as an indication that the water is safe for water activities. Precautions should be taken when engaged in any waterway activities including swimming, fishing and boating in any of these areas until further noticed.
The City’s Public Works Department will issue a notice as soon as it is determined that the water quality has returned to acceptable standards, although with the current weather forecast of continued rain, that is not likely until early next week.