Sewage war between St. Pete and Gulfport continues
St. Petersburg ceased water testing in Boca Ciega Bay in Clam Bayou this week, putting out a news release that levels of fecal coliform had returned to normal ranges.
Not so fast, said Gulfport council member Dan Liedtke.
"St Petersburg may have declared the Bayou is clean but our testing results from today prove otherwise," Liedtke wrote in an e-mail to the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday. "The city of Gulfport continues testing and today we found numbers outside the safe range. Gulfport Beach, Gulfport Marina and Gulfport’s side of Clam Bayou have all been posted as unsafe and are closed."
Gulfport and St. Petersburg have been battling since early August when St. Petersburg dumped more than 30 million gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage into Boca Ciega Bay, Clam Bayou and Eckerd College's campus after weeks of heavy rain overwhelmed its sewer system. Gulfport residents showed up en masse at at St. Petersburg City Council meeting to voice their displeasure and Mayor Rick Kriseman penned a contrite letter to the city. But Kriseman has also countered, saying Gulfport's aging sewer system also leaked plenty of its own sewage into those waterways.
The rainy season may have ended weeks ago (although maybe not so much in this El Nino year), but the sewage feud between the neighboring cities continues to flow unabated.
Kevin King, Kriseman's chief of staff, dismissed the latest Gulfport volley.
"We've gone from rainy season to silly season," King said.