ST. PETE BEACH — You might not think flushing the toilet is a political act, but it is.

That waste water goes through pipes, pipes your city is in charge of maintaining. That maintenance can close roads and businesses.

That wastewater can flow into Tampa Bay or the gulf and spread disease. You might not think you need to worry about it, but the former mayor of St. Pete Beach says you have to. And she wants to give you the tools to hold your public officials accountable.

“The truth is that it's everybody's problem, and you need to be informed.”

That's why former St. Pete Beach Mayor Maria Lowe is writing a book with this title.


Yes. Pooponomics.

"Pooponomics is precisely your 101 guide to understanding your waste and total water systems,” Lowe said.

Lowe says what this really comes down to is you and the questions you need to ask your community leaders.

“Do you have an operation and maintenance budget to repair the problems that come up? I would know more failed to take my car in for an oil change then they should fail to check those pumps at the lift station to make sure the poop elevators are working,” she said.

“Number two, inflow and infiltration, are the pipes sealed? That includes your clean water coming in so you don't get a boil notice, and your dirty water coming out so that we don't contaminate our beautiful environmental areas.”

And Lowe says you should ask your leaders if they know the difference between storm, reclaimed, potable and wastewater because “only an informed person can hold their government accountable. And accountability is really at issue when you're talking about long-term, protracted concentrated efforts, like the waste water systems.”

Lowe says her book will be ready in about a year and part of the proceeds will go toward a public library in St Pete Beach and, of course, toilets you can use the next time you go for a swim.