Pinellas Legislators: We must fix massive sewage problem now

Fixing Pinellas Co. sewage problem

Tuesday Pinellas County legislators will meet to demand solutions to fixing Pinellas County's massive sewage problem. 

During Hurricane Hermine, hundreds of millions of gallons of partially treated sewage water overflowed from manhole covers and seeped into Tampa Bay.

It also happened last summer, then during Tropical Storm Colin, then Hurricane Hermine-- and it turns out even during some heavy afternoon storms, sewage flows out of manhole covers and seeps into Tampa Bay.

Legislators say enough is enough.

Tuesday, the Pinellas County legislative delegation will meet in an emergency session to demand solutions, but of course, fixing the aging water treatment plants won't be cheap or easy.

Pinellas County's Utilities director says $70 million has been budgeted over the next 10 years just for stormwater system improvements and upgrades to pumping stations, but that's only the start.

Legislators also want to discuss funding solutions and if its possible to pass a new law requiring cities to take more responsibility for fixing their water treatment plants.

The massive three-day rainfall during Hermine revealed just how limited wastewater systems are, and local leaders say that's scary with predictions of heavier rainy seasons over the next decade on the radar.

The 14 wastewater agencies throughout the county have aging systems that are too old to handle the growing number of people moving to Tampa Bay.

The legislative leaders will meet from 3-5 P.M. Tuesday at the Karen A. Steidinger Auditorium at 100 Eighth Ave. S. E., which is at the Fish & Wildlife Research Institute on the USF St. Pete campus in St. Petersburg.

Presentations will be made by the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection and officials from Pinellas County and cities around the county. This meeting is a workshop format and the public is invited to attend.


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