Tampa Bay has spent millions to keep hurricane season from turning into sewage season again
Tampa Bay utility officials have their collective fingers crossed, hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's calamity: Glancing blows from Tropical Storm Colin and Hurricane Hermine, combined with record rainfall, overwhelmed sewer pipes and plants across the region.
Sewage seeped through manhole covers and flowed over residential streets. St. Petersburg alone sent 161.5 million gallons of waste gushing into the Tampa Bay itself (and a total of 200 million gallons going back to August 2015). Those disastrous spills fouled the bay, left local officials reeling and sparked state and federal investigations.
Seven months later, public works crews have been working hard to get ready for the new storm season, which officially starts June 1. Will it be enough to stave off another sewage crisis?