Iorio rethinking sewer water in the river
Mayor Pam Iorio is reconsidering plans by Tampa Bay Water to put treated wastewater in the Hillsborough River to off-set increased withdrawals of drinking water upstream.
River watchers say they're stunned.
Last year, Iorio said the proposal was "not a viable option" after environmental groups inundated her with e-mails opposing the project. Now, though, Iorio has fast-tracked work on a master-plan for using the 55 million gallons of reclaimed water that's dumped into Tampa Bay every day. And that plan could include putting the water into the river.
"We're not precluding anything," said Steve Daignault, the city's administrator for public works and utilities.
John Ovink, founder of Friends of the River, a group launched in 2000 to protect the Hillsborough River, said his organization will fight the proposal, as it has in the past. "Do they think we'll just go away?" he said. "A stupid idea is a stupid idea. Whether you propose the same idea one time, 10 times our 100 times, it remains a stupid idea."
-- Janet Zink, Times staff writer