Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plans to shut Albert Whitted sewage plant anger some in Maximo Moorings

ST. PETERSBURG — Residents in southwest St. Petersburg are raising a stink about a plan to close an 86-year-old sewage treatment plant at Albert Whitted Airport.

City officials plan to divert the sewage now treated at Albert Whitted to a plant 7 miles away off the Pinellas Bayway next to Eckerd College and the Maximo Moorings neighborhood, which has about 600 homes.

"It's already noisy, it already smells," said Brian Pumphrey, a treasurer of the civic association. "Now they're going to increase the sewage it treats by 50 percent; it'll only get worse."

On Thursday, Pumphrey asked the City Council to reconsider the project, but it went ahead and approved a number of contracts associated with design and engineering costs for a new force main and lift station that will push the wastewater to the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility next to Eckerd College. Only members Wengay Newton and Steve Kornell voted against the $2.3 million in contracts.

"They could have split it up," Kornell said, "so that not all of the wastewater goes to this one facility."

Although a 2002 study proposed splitting up the sewage among other plants if the city closed the Albert Whitted facility, public works administrator Mike Connors said a more recent analysis showed sending all of the waste to the Southwest plant was the cheapest option. He said the Southwest facility would still have about one-fifth of its capacity unused after getting the Albert Whitted waste.

Steps will be taken to blunt the effects of the project on its neighbors, he said. The city regularly applies chemicals that neutralize odors. And the city recently spent $60,000 on landscaping to block the view of the plant. Any noise comes from trucks, not the plant, he said.

The project is necessary because of the rising expense of operating the plant at Albert Whitted Airport, Connors said. New state rules required costly improvements to that facility, and the diversion would lead to about $32 million in savings over 20 years.

"There's too much at stake in terms of savings for us not to do this," Connors said.

Michael Van Sickler can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or [email protected]

Plans to shut Albert Whitted sewage plant anger some in Maximo Moorings 12/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 17, 2011 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun


    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive


    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.