Water-Related News

St. Pete, St. Pete Beach pump sewage into Tampa Bay

News item from WUSF News:

ST. PETERSBURG – The city of St. Petersburg says it is pumping sewage into Tampa Bay because its sewer system has been overloaded with rainwater infiltrating leaky sewer pipes. Wastewater systems have had a difficult time keeping up with rainfall in recent days as Tropical Storm Colin passed over the state, dropping up to 9 inches of rain in some places.

In a news release Tuesday, Public Works Administrator Claude Tankersley said the partially treated sewage will be pumped by a pipe about a quarter of a mile into the bay. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection was notified of the discharge.

News item from Bay News 9:

ST. PETE BEACH – As part of its overnight sewage work in St. Pete Beach, crews monitored an open manhole.

It didn't overflow with sewage, which was the good news.

The not-so-good news is that residents still are being asked to limit their bathing, dishwashing and flushing for the time being.

Public works pumped partially treated sewage, stormwater and rainwater throughout Tuesday afternoon.

Vacuum trucks dumped the sewage into the city's main pump station to relieve pressure on the system. St. Pete Beach Mayor Maria Lowe said Tuesday that the sewer system became backed up due to Tropical Storm Colin.

Some of the pumped sewage was discharged into Boca Ciega Bay through an underwater pipe and crews will re-evaluate the system Wednesday. Officials did not give an exact number about how much sewage was released, only saying it was tens of thousands of gallons.

Lowe said while they try to avoid pumping any raw sewage into the Bay, it really is the safest way to handle to overloaded system and is better than having an uncontrolled flow going into the streets and storm drains.

The city has notified the Florida Department of Environmental Protection about the discharge into the bay.

News item from ABC Action News:

ST PETE BEACH – Residents living in St. Pete Beach are being asked to immediately stop using the sanitation system.

The city says its sanitary sewer pipe and pump station system is completely full and cannot accept any additional flow. Sanitary overflow was coming up through manholes throughout the city.

All residents and businesses on St. Pete Beach are requested to stop using the sanitary sewer system until further notice.

This includes:
 • showers
 • baths
 • laundry
 • dish washing
 • any other use of water that enters the sanitary sewer system

The city said flushing toilets is necessary, but urges residents to be cautious and limit use as much as possible. City officials expect the ban to be in effect most of the day or until flood waters recede.

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