Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Reclaimed water is one step closer for some Tampa neighborhoods

TAMPA — A $340 million plan to put the city's treated wastewater to good use took a tiny step forward on Thursday.

The City Council voted to start expanding the system that now makes reclaimed water available to about 8,700 users in South Tampa to another potential 9,000 customers in an area loosely bordered by Bayshore Boulevard, Ballast Point and North Hyde Park. The expansion, which could be completed in five years, also would take the water to big users such as the Tampa Sports Authority and International Plaza.

Other parts of the plan will be considered later, including:

• Requiring people who have access to reclaimed water to use it instead of potable water for lawn watering as of Dec. 1.

• Allowing Tampa Bay Water to take up to 20 million gallons of reclaimed water a day to Pasco County to recharge the aquifer.

• Requiring people with access to reclaimed water lines to pay a fee even if they don't use the water.

"I don't want to be the big daddy of big government and say you shall," Charlie Miranda said of the possibility that those who have access to reclaimed water would have to rely on it for irrigation.

Council member John Dingfelder said the Dec. 1 deadline is too soon to put the requirement in place. "We will freak people out too much," he said.

Council members also said they want to find a way to minimize the cost of connecting to the system, which can reach about $800, and possibly exempt people with established lawns who worry the treated water will harm such plants as azaleas and laurel oaks.

"It would be tough to require them to use reclaimed water that's going to kill their plants," Council member Mary Mulhern said.

Dingfelder raised questions about Tampa Bay Water's recharge plan. Studies have shown that even highly treated wastewater contains pharmaceutical residue, he said, and some people balk at having it drain back into drinking water supplies. "We need to be very cautious about this," he said.

Tampa Bay Water would help pay to build the system, which would offset the cost of taking reclaimed water to North Tampa by 2024. That may be appealing financially, Dingfelder said.

"It might not be appealing on a community level," he said.

The city currently dumps 55 million gallons of highly treated wastewater into Tampa Bay each day. The water contains pollutants that can harm marine life.

For more than 10 years, city leaders have struggled to find a way to use the water for irrigation and industry. Last year, Mayor Pam Iorio pledged to develop an aggressive, long-range reclaimed water plan. Thursday's recommendations are the product of a $140,000 study by consultants.

Janet Zink can be reached at jzink@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3401.

Reclaimed water is one step closer for some Tampa neighborhoods 05/28/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 28, 2009 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Schools of Hope, substitute pay, testing and more

    Blogs

    SCHOOLS OF HOPE: Hillsborough County school district leaders have expressed their displeasure with portions of Florida's sweeping new education law, HB 7069. But that doesn't mean they're above taking advantage of it where the provisions might help. Officials are now contemplating

  2. St. Pete Beach to hold line on property tax rate

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Property tax rates are slated to remain unchanged here next year, but many residents may see higher tax bills, thanks to a 7.2 percent increase in property values.

    St. Pete Beach City Manager Wayne Saunders.
  3. Rays morning after: How exactly did they let that game slip away

    Blogs

    Rays manager Kevin Cash assumed Thursday's game was over when Gary Sanchez rolled a ground ball toward the shortstop spot with the tying run on third and two outs in the ninth. So did closer Alex Colome. As well as second baseman Tim Beckham.

  4. 5 things to know before Tampa Bay Comic Con this weekend

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, expected to attract more than 55,000 like-minded nerds mingling with cosplayers, celebrities, artists and sellers of comic books and collectibles.

    Surrounded by the bridesmaids dressed as Disney princesses and groomsmen dressed as Marvel superheroes, Gwen Walter of Venice, Fla., kisses her husband, Shawn Walter, also of Venice, after their wedding ceremony on day two of the 2016 Tampa Bay Comic Con in the Tampa Convention Center on August 6, 2016. The pair got engaged at Megacon 2015 and were married wearing "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed costumes. Two different couples were married in Room 24 on the second day of the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2016. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  5. White House tensions catch fire with Scaramucci interviews (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's new communications director exploded the smoldering tensions at the White House into a full-fledged conflagration Thursday, angrily daring Trump's chief of …

    White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci gestures as he answers a question during a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington on July 21, 2017. Scaramucci offered newsroom leaders a test on Thursday. They needed to decide whether to fully use the obscenities relied on by Scaramucci to describe fellow White House aides or talk around them. [Associated Press]