About 3050 m offshore from Hollywood, Florida at a depth of about 28.5 m you’ll find the Hollywood Sewage Outfall. The outfall consists of a single port discharge pipe with a port diameter of 1.52 m. The permitted discharge of the Hollywood outfall is 47.5 million gallons per day which is the combined permitted
flow from Hollywood, Cooper City and Davie Wastewater Treatment Plants. This is the largest sewage outfall into the ocean left in Florida.

Six wastewater treatment facilities in South Florida have been discharging an average of about 360 million gallons per day of treated wastewater to the ocean for decades through outfall pipes located 1 to 3 miles offshore. Today only three local governments in Florida use ocean outflows: Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and Hollywood. Collectively, they pump about 71 billion gallons of treated sewage into the ocean each year.

The Florida Senate has passed a bill that would shut down these ocean outfalls by 2025. Delray beach outfall
was the first to shut off the sewage outfall flow on March 31 2009 – after actually having continued for a time without a permit (according to Dan Clark of Cry of The Water). Cry of the Water along with Reef Rescue and numerous environmental groups have worked for over 10 years to end the discharge of inadequately treated sewage onto our reefs.  Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed the outfall legislation at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale on July 7, 2008.

But already there are certain political moves that try to amend the law by allowing as much as 5% of the annual treated sewage flow into the ocean, but only during “peak flow events” like when flooding is likely following a hurricane. You can read more about that in the article from April 17 2013 copied from Miami Herald here.

Sewage contains higher levels of nitrogen, ammonia and other contaminants that are widely believed to promote algae blooms and disease in coral communities. As coral formations die off, fish, lobsters and sea turtles lose critical habitat.

Although the outfalls are not emitting untreated sewage, but treated sewage and some claims that if you poured wastewater effluent from a plant with secondary treatment into a glass, in most cases it would be hard to tell it from drinking water, the sight you meet when visiting the Hollywood Sewage Outfall certainly leaves a different impression.

To get a good idea of the issues at hand with the sewage outflow please see the video below which explains it
very well. Please excuse the quality and the sound.

Photo Credits – All Rights Reserved – Mikkel Pitzner

The video below shows team members from Project Baseline Gulfstream dive at the Hollywood Sewage  Outfall.

The enter West of the Outfall following the trench that has been dug to accommodate for the huge pipe running from the sewage treatment plant all 3050 meters out into the ocean where 47.5 million gallons of treated sewage are discharged every day.

As you will notice the trench has a “road” here and there that are made up of concrete blocks interwoven with iron bars and placed there to hold the pipe in place.

Notice the many fish including game fish and the Goliath groupers that you also see swimming in and out of the plume of the sewage water.

The team installs the first monitoring station there too on this dive. The station does not do much in itself, but it will act as a point of reference for image and footage capturing of the natural reef and over time the images and footage can become highly useful in evaluating the evolvement of the state of health of the ocean in this area.

The monitoring station at the Hollywood Sewage Outfall was installed on August 2nd 2013. 

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The image below is an image showing the installed monitor station and the natural reef behind it. The image was captured looking directly to the South.

Photo Credits – All Rights Reserved – Mikkel Pitzner

Project Baseline Gulfstream will be monitoring the Hollywood Sewage Outfall over time.

A diver who blogged about diving the Hollywood Sewage Outfall described it in his blog post of November 21, 2008 as follows:

If you’ve never been diving on one of these sites, it is certainly an eye-opener. Having accidentally come across the Hallandale Outfall Pipe some years ago, I would never dive one of these active sites on purposes. Picture a large round pipe with a plume of thick smoke pouring out into the water, except that instead of smoke, it’s dark, stinky sewage. The reef life around it is usually dead, but the fish life is usually pretty abundant with some of the largest Bermuda Chubs I’ve ever seen in my life swimming in schools through the plume of effluent. YUCK! Needless to say, I immediately started swimming upstream.

Installing one of these now would NEVER make it past the EPA, let alone the reef protection groups, etc.


Click to see the full article.



Click here to view all Project Baseline Gulfstream posts on The Hollywood Sewage Outfall