SEMINOLE — People who live on the north end of Lake Seminole can expect large trucks to be traveling up and down their roads for the next few weeks.
The trucks will be there to haul off debris and other material that has accumulated since last spring. The debris comes from construction of a stormwater treatment plant.
Pinellas County officials had promised early on that they would stockpile debris so residents along Tradewinds Boulevard would not have to put up with trucks hauling debris day in and day out during the project. This first stage of debris removal will begin Monday and is expected to take two to three weeks.
Construction of the treatment plant is the first phase in a $6.5-million project to clean stormwater runoff of toxins before it gets to the lake. The treatment plant, which is expected to cost about $3.2-million, is scheduled to be finished next spring. County officials will spend a year monitoring it. If all goes well, Phase II would be started.
Kelli Levy, a division director for Pinellas County Water Management, said that, for the most part, things are going well.
Rumors have, however, started that the county is not building a treatment plant, but is instead installing pipes to dump sewage in the lake.
"I can't even imagine why anyone would say that," Levy said.
The goal is to heal Lake Seminole and "obviously, putting sewage into the lake would not improve anything. I'm not into sewage. I'm into stormwater," Levy said.
Levy said the county did have some problems over the Labor Day holiday with four-wheel drive vehicles being driven on the cleared areas by the lake. That is illegal, she said, and the matter is being referred to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office for investigation.