Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Add another 58 million gallons to St. Pete's sewage tally, now at north of 128 million gallons



Mayor Rick Kriseman has referred to the city's massive sewage dumps and spills after Hurricane Hermine as a black cloud that overshadows positive things going on in the Sunshine City.

That cloud just grew bigger.  58 million gallons bigger.

Since Monday, the Tampa Bay Times has asked for details of the spill at the city's Northwest wastewater treatment plant, 7500 26th Ave. N. Those details were released today.

A public records request yielded a report to the state's Department of Environmental Protection dated today that listed details of the overflow.

You can read the report here.

The overflow of partially-treated sewage was mostly treated, city officials have said. The "reject water" spilled, according to Water Resources Director Steve Leavitt, wasn't clean enough to be used as reclaimed water. It overflowed from a storage tank into Jungle Lake stormwater pond and into storm water sewers.

Eventually the sewage ended up in Boca Ciega Bay, Leavitt said in response to an earlier public records request.

The spill lasted from Sept. 1 at 3 a.m. to Sept. 7 at 11 a.m., the report said.

In addition to overflowing from the plant's storage tanks, it was pumped from the plant's chlorine contact chamber, the report said.

 Some Azalea residents complained about sewage streaming down 22nd Ave N and into their yards. 

Mayor Rick Kriseman's office issued a statement about the spill after being contacted by the Tampa Bay Times.

 "Neighbors near the Northwest plant should not be concerned. The overflow at the plant was treated wastewater, roughly the same quality as reclaimed water. The Mayor and City Council are executing a plan to mitigate problems like this from excessive rain events in the future. "

This spill now brings the total dumped or spilled by St. Petersburg to a staggering 128 million gallons. The exact amount of the more than 70 million gallons dumped into Tampa Bay from Aug. 31 to Sept. 9 will never be known. City officials said a stuck flow meter prevented accurate measurements.

Since August 2015, the city has dumped or spilled about 160 million gallons of raw or partially-treated sewage.

Check back to for more details on this breaking news.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 3:04pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours