- 10 Nov
Wastewater Improvement Plan
Message from Mayor Rick Kriseman:
You already know that during recent rain events, St. Petersburg was forced to discharge wastewater into Tampa Bay. We’ve also had spills, including most recently at our Northwest plant. Like you, I don’t think these discharges or spills are acceptable.
Working with Public Works Administrator Claude Tankersley, I have come up with an aggressive, bold plan to address this issue, and mitigate further discharges and spills into Tampa Bay.
Our goals are to:
- Increase capacity at our existing plants.
- Line and seal targeted pipes and manholes.
- Engineer enough redundancy to sustain operations for two weeks should one of our three plants go offline or be otherwise rendered inoperable in a crisis situation.
- Operate totally within the rules and guidelines of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, even during a crisis.
With respect to climate change, we can anticipate more extreme events like Hurricane Hermine. We also know that sea level rise will have an impact on our underground pipes as well as our three existing treatment plants. Our Public Works team will put a contingency plan in place to address those critical issues.
None of this can be done overnight, and it will be expensive. But, I have heard from many of you, and agree when you say, “do whatever it takes.”
My plan calls for an estimated investment of $304 million on projects through 2021. Some of this money has already been budgeted. But we will need an additional $142 million to get the job done. Our short-term projects will take about two years. We should be completed with this plan in five years. Fortunately, a healthy economy makes this important investment feasible, without any immediate need to reprioritize other unrelated city advances.
However, it is important to note, between now and then, if we get another extreme rain event like Hurricane Hermine, we can likely expect more discharging into the bay. But if we invest in this plan, we will have a vastly improved sewer system in place by 2021. This is the most efficient, effective path toward a sustainable solution to our city’s sewer issues.
View the detailed plan at www.stpete.org/publicworksinfo