So far, St. Pete's sewage system is holding up just fine under steady rainfall
It’s been raining steadily since the beginning of June, but, so far, St. Petersburg’s beleaguered sewer system has handled the rain.
The rain keeps falling, but not one gallon has spilled or been pumped where it shouldn’t go as of midday Wednesday. The city’s injection wells haven’t flushed any partially treated sewage into the aquifer. And the shuttered Albert Whitted sewage plant hasn’t been used for emergency storage, said Public Works Administration spokesman Bill Logan.
“It’s worked,” Logan said. “That’s the bottom line.”
The last two summers have plunged the Sunshine City into national headlines and state and federal investigations after the city discharged about 200 million gallons into local bays and streets.
Mayor Rick Kriseman has pledged $304 million to fix the sewers and more than $50 million has been spent so far this year. The city is spending so much on its leaky sewer pipes that it’s considering creating a bonding authority to save its credit rating. It's poised to sign a state consent order requiring it to keep up the repairs or face massive fines.