A Cape Coral man was apparently caught over the weekend pumping raw sewage from his septic tank into a vacant field next to his home.
On Saturday, an anonymous caller contacted the Cape police and reported what was happening. When officers arrived at the home, located in the 2900 block of Northeast Fourth Place, they observed a man standing in the yard.
The man had a hose with one end in the septic tank and the other running approximately 75 to 100 feet into an adjacent field. Police discovered in the field an area about 30-by-30 feet, with 1 inch to 2 inches of liquid sewage.
"The odor was overwhelming," the officer wrote in the police report.
The man reportedly told police that he was "pumping the liquids" out of his septic tank because it was broken. He reportedly said he talked to a company three weeks ago about emptying the tank, but the company wanted $5,000.
The system apparently needs repair - draining it is only a temporary fix.
Officers observed that the septic tank was about one-third empty.
The incident was given to code enforcement because the liquid had soaked into the soil. The Department of Environmental Protection was notified, and the information was forwarded to an investigator for a possible follow up.
Police helped the man contact a septic company to service the tank.
According to Connie Barron, the city's spokeswoman, code enforcement did respond to a report of raw sewage being pumped.
"However, we did not personally witness the pumping of raw sewage," she said Tuesday in an e-mail. "May not have been intentional as the heavy rains may have contributed to a septic overflow."
The Lee County Health Department is now handling the case.