Jane Castor may have a fight on her hands over Tampa’s ‘toilet-to-tap’ project
Could Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s first big battle with City Council be over a program to turn sewage into drinking water?
First the facts: only highly-treated reclaimed water, 50 million gallons of which are currently legally dumped into Tampa Bay, be injected into the Florida Aquifer and then pulled back up to be dumped into the Hillsborough River and adjacent canals. Tampa said the resulting drinking water would be safe. Opponents, including the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters and, perhaps, several new council members, say environmental questions remain and wonder why the city needs to proceed with a $350 million project without vetting other options.
On Thursday, the issue surfaced again as the Castor administration pulled a $610,000 request for public outreach for what the city dubs the “Tampa Augmentation Project” or TAP and critics sneer as “toilet-to-tap.”