Sewage leak blamed for killing fish in Southside pond

JEA crews draining popular fishing hole, will restock pond

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A sewage leak on the Southside is being blamed for killing thousands of fish and leaving many people who live in the community with environmental concerns.

The leak happened over the weekend near a new construction site on AC Skinner Parkway near Butler Boulevard. Raw sewage spilled into the 4-acre Estevez Pond next to a condo complex.

The area, which is a popular fishing hole, is now off limits as crews try to clean up the site, which was left with a pretty bad smell.

People who live and work near the body of water are very upset and demanded that whoever is responsible for the leak be held accountable.

“Me and my son use the pond. We catch and release (fish) here,” Alonzo McQueen said. “The responsible party should be held responsible, and they should restock the pond and bring it back to where it was.”

Since the large pond was contaminated with raw sewage, bass, catfish and bream have died by the hundreds, if not thousands, in the pond.

The Sky 4 drone captured video of hundreds of dead fish lining the banks of the pond.

Residents are worried the ecosystem could be harmed for years to come.

Neighbors blame the leak on nearby construction, saying one of the builders hit a sewage pipe over the weekend.

“I think it is devastating. I think it is downright disgusting,” David Comer said.

A spokeswoman confirmed the spill was reported Sunday afternoon and that utility crews are draining the pond.

Once the pond is drained, crews will clean the area and restock the pond with fish, she said. Crews are also sampling nearby waterways for possible contamination.

JEA is still investigating the exact cause and in the meantime is asking neighbors to avoid the area. JEA also said people should not drink the water, swim in the pond or fish there until the cleanup is completed.

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