ST PETERSBURG-- Hurricane Irma is forcing St. Pete to take a serious look at its sewer system, especially after millions of gallons of raw sewage was dumped into the bay during Tropical Storm Colin and Hurricane Hermine.
Crews have been working to clean up debris so the storm drains do not get clogged as heavy rains from Hurricane Irma dumps into the area. While we do not want to see a repeat of last year with sewage overflowing, the storm will more than likely overload the system.
The good news is the city has done a lot of work to improve the sewers. Crews have increased capacity at the treatment plans by 60 percent. They say it might be enough to handle the type of storms we've had in the last year-- but Irma is a different story.
"We've put in approximately 3,500 inserts into the manholes and we will continue to do that as long as it is safe," says a spokesperson with St. Pete Public Works.
In the meantime, officials say you must do your part as well. They are asking residents and businesses to do their laundry and make sure your storm drains are free of debris.