This article was originally published on June 6, 2022, by 6 South Florida. Read original.
Following the tropical system that passed through South Florida over the weekend, storm flooding caused an overflow of sewage in parts of Miami-Dade, resulting in a no-swim advisory across several beaches.
As Miami-Dade Water and Sewer crews work to clean up and contain sewer overflows, several local groups are testing the quality of our water.
The Surfrider Foundation works year-round, but after the weekend's heavy downpours, a group of volunteers went into emergency mode on Sunday and gathered samples.
"I'm finding quite a lot of bacteria in the usual places we see and some other places we don't usually see,” said Jennifer Samway, a Surfrider Foundation volunteer.
Surfrider data shows areas with high bacteria levels include Virginia Key, Olets State Park Beach, the Haulover Sandbar and Sunset Harbor Marina.
“It’s the kind of bacteria that would probably give you maybe stomach problems, diarrhea, things like that. Things that people wouldn't want to necessarily be ingesting or swimming in I would say,” said Samway.
Many environmental groups think a better plan should have been put in place. They feel city and county leaders should prioritize an upgrade to sewage systems and infrastructure.
"Well, you don't want to anticipate a sewer spill. So it all comes as a surprise," said Samway. "The infrastructure obviously needs to get updated in some areas. I just think it's a question of holding the city accountable."
The Miami Waterkeeper is also closely monitoring the situation. They tell NBC 6 they’ve received reports of sewage spills in Hialeah, Brickell, Shenandoah, and Miami Lakes.