Hermine overwhelmed sewer facilities around Bay area

10Investigates has discovered the torrential rains from Hurricane Hermine have had both immediate and lasting effects on water levels and at waste facilities in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.  

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the city of St. Petersburg spilled 20 million gallons of partially treated sewage Monday morning.  It happened at the St. Petersburg Albert Whitted plant.

The DEP also says the Albert Whitted plant discharged 2,000 gallons of raw sewage on Aug. 31.  DEP also says the raw discharge on the 31st was a threat to human health and or the environment.  The city says between Aug.  31 and Sept. 5 that 14 inches of rain fell at the Albert Whitted plant and it couldn’t handle  the amount of stormwater along with the sewage it had to process.

St. Petersburg is in the process of updating its sewage treatment system and will spend $100 million in the next five years. One major improvement will be adding millions of gallons of extra capacity through a new tank it is constructing at the Southeast treatment plant. That new tank is scheduled to be online in 2017.

While that spill Monday was the largest, it was by no means the only spill in the Tampa Bay area.

In Clearwater millions of gallons of sewage mixed with stormwater was spilled near the Marshall Street wastewater treatment plant last Thursday. The plant is rated to treat 10 million gallons a day.  It was overwhelmed during the storm as it was receiving approximately 30 million gallons of wastewater.

Clearwater installed temporary pumps to deal with the sewage. The city issued a release saying it will continue to use the temporary pumps until it can permanently repair the pump station. The city also noted that the normal flow through the plant is 6 million gallons a day, but last week when the plant failed, it was dealing with 21 million gallons per day.

Pinellas County had problems with containing its treated sewage and released more than 7 million gallons on Thursday.

Meantime, according to DEP the city of Tampa released 938,000 gallons of raw sewage into a storm sewer drain that empties out into Tampa Bay. Waste Water Director Eric Weiss told 10Investigates the Tampa problems  were caused by two power failures, not because of the amount of water the plant had to handle.

Although DEP didn’t have furnish any incidents in Sarasota, the city admits it did have a spill of 40,000 gallons of partially treated sewage last week.

Here’s the complete list from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection:

State Watch Office Notification Summary

Sept. 6

  • 10:03am – City of Tarpon Springs – 15,000 gallons

Sept. 5

  • 10:29am – City of St. Petersburg – 20 million gallons – partially treated effluent

Sept. 4

  • 3:58pm – City of Dunedin – 155,000 gallons
  • 1:30pm – US Water Services – Port Richey – 1,000 gallons
  • 8:19am – City of Tarpon Springs – 1,500 gallons
  • 5:13am – Pasco County – amount unknown – manholes

Sept. 3

  • 4:35pm – City of Clearwater – amount unknown
  • 4pm – City of Clearwater – over 1,000 gal – manhole
  • 11:01am – City of New Port Richey – treated effluent – over 1,000 gal
  • 10:19am – Pinellas County – Dunedin: Over 1,000 gal; Clearwater: Over 1,000 gal

Sept. 2:

  • 3:47pm – City of Largo – 119,250 gal impacting McKay Creek and Allens Creek
  • 3:37pm – Pinellas County – Bellair: 10,000 gal; Seminole: 8,500 gal; Kenneth City: 2,500 gal; Madeira Beach: 3,000 gal; Largo: 2,000 gal
  • 2:29pm – Hernando County/Hernando Beach – unknown amount
  • 2:29pm – Hernando County/Weeki Wachee – 6,000 gallons
  • 9:38am - City of Port Richey – unknown amount
  • 9:22am - City of Brooksville - up to 30,000 gallons - No storm drains or waterways impacted.
  • 9:18am - City of Tarpon Springs – more than 1000 gallons
  • 8:58am - City of Tampa – amount unknown - entered into the Hillsborough River
  • 8:58am - City of Tampa - 938,000 gallons
  • 8:41am - City of Gulfport – unknown amount - Boca Ciega Bay has been affected.

Sept. 1:

  • 3:43pm – City of Clearwater – amount unknown
  • 3:34pm - City of Clearwater – more than 1,000 gallons
  • 2:44pm - city of Holiday – unknown amount - lift station overflow
  • 2:10 pm - City of Clearwater – amount unknown
  • 2pm – Utilities Incorporated - City of Clearwater – more than 1,000 gallons
  • 1:46pm – City of Clearwater – 1,000 gallons
  • 12:17pm - City of St. Petersburg – amount unknown – treated effluent
  • 11:47am - Pinellas County Utilities - 60,000 gallons in Pinellas Park
  • 10:46am - The City of Treasure Island - 200 gallons and 2,400 gallons
  • 9:55am - Pasco County Utilities - 2,700-gallon wastewater release in Land O Lakes.
  • 9:33am - City of St. Pete Beach - amount unknown
  • 8:51am - The City of Clearwater – more than 1000 gallons
  • 7:48am - Pinellas County Utilities - 7.13 million gallons of treated effluent

Aug. 31

 

  • 8:35pm - City of Tampa - 10,000+ gallon wastewater release in Hillsborough Bay
  • 4:36pm - City of St. Petersburg – amount unknown - overflow to the manholes.
  • 4:48pm - City of St. Petersburg – amount unknown - overflow to the manholes.
  • 4:49pm - City of St. Petersburg – amount unknown - overflow to the manholes.
  • 3:33pm - City of Largo - amount unknown
  • 3:27pm - City of Largo – amount unknown - overflow to the manholes.
  • 3:22pm - City of Largo – amount unknown - overflow to the manholes.
  • 3:16pm - City of Largo – amount unknown - lift station.
  • 3:07pm - City of Largo - amount unknown – McKay Creek


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