After 59 Years, Sewage Will Finally Stop Flowing Into Florida Bay - Atlas Obscura
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After 59 Years, Sewage Will Finally Stop Flowing Into Florida Bay

It began with a city worker noticing a smell.

(Photo: Google Maps)

Since 1957, sewage from the toilets at the Pensacola Library flowed directly into nearby Pensacola Bay via the city’s stormwater drains. That’s the year the library was built. 

A 2013 renovation of the library was supposed to fix this issue, for the first time connecting the library to the city’s sewer system. 

But last week, according to the Pensacola News Journal, a worker at the library smelled something: sewage. A city crew later determined that the renovation had not exactly fixed the problem. On Wednesday, workers solved the problem again.

Or at least they think they did, since the city suspects that many other old buildings might have sewage emptying into stormwater drains. No one’s quite sure why the library wasn’t connected in the first place. Was that simply standard practice back then? Or were engineers skirting the rules? 

Surprisingly, neighbors seemed to take the news pretty casually. 

“It wasn’t overwhelming like it was when the sewer plant was down here,” one neighbor told the Pensacola News Journal. “It just had that sewer, gassy smell. We just didn’t know what to attribute it to since the sewer plant was gone.”