The City of St. Augustine has issued a precautionary notice for the use of area waterways including the San Sebastian and Matanzas Rivers, their tributary creeks including Hospital and Oyster Creeks and Lake Maria Sanchez.
The flooding caused by the heavy rainfall in the previous days has overwhelmed the city's sewer system in several locations resulting in several spills of raw sewage into are runoffs. The water quality in the areas will be tested now that the rains have subsided and testing will continue until the contaminants from the spills are below established maximum limits for surface water bodies.
St. Augustine city crews have posted several warning signs at various discharge locations. The absence of a posted notice should not be an indication that the water is safe for activities. Precautions should be taken when engaging in any waterway activity including but not limited to swimming, fishing, and boating in any of these affected areas.
The city's Public Works Department will issue a notice when it is determined that the water has returned to acceptable standards. It is not expected to return to a safe level until early next week.
For more information regarding this issue with the water safety levels the public is urged to call the Public Works Department at 904-825-1040 during normal business hours or after hours at 904-825-1044