Mayor Kriseman, city council to meet today on St. Petersburg sewage situationComments Off on Mayor Kriseman, city council to meet today on St. Petersburg sewage situation
Carrie Caiget was one of many St. Petersburg residents who had waste water back up into their homes and bubble through manhole covers as Hurricane Hermine dumped several inches of rain on the area last month.
- St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman meeting with city council today about sewage issue
- Gov. Scott orders state to investigate sewerage discharges
- Rep. Jolly wants EPA investigation
- Kriseman places top sewer officials on unpaid leave
As the finger pointing continues after millions of gallons of sewage was dumped into Tampa Bay and other local waterways, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is set to meet with the city council today to address more issues surrounding the crisis.
Since August 2015, St. Petersburg has dumped more than 190 million gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay and other local waterways. City officials were warned this could happen when they shut down the Albert Whitted water treatment facility, according to one whistleblower. A permanent fix to the problem is not likely until at least 2018, when major upgrades to the Southwest wastewater treatment plant may be completed.
Additional sewage was released into the Bay during the torrential rains that came with Hurricane Hermine last month. The problems have been caused by a combination of an aged sewer system with low capacity and heavy rains.
While the City of St. Petersburg is responsible for conducting testing in the immediate area of the sewage spill, Scott directed the Department of Health to begin additional testing at this site.
City employees with any information about the waste water issues are being asked to come forward.
St. Petersburg residents, meanwhile, are questioning the mayor about how safe is the city’s water.
"I have some pretty aggravated opinions about our mayor and some of the decisions that were made that I’m sure were altruistic at the time," Caignet said. "But they were clearly unrealistic as far as being able to keep sewage water from backing up into the bay and into our homes."
The city shut down the Albert Whitted Wastewater Treatment facility last year.
Since then, the city has dumped partially treated waste water into the bay because of a lack of capacity to hold it.
And now, a letter from a whistle blower inside city hall is alleging Kriseman is lying about how safe the waste water dumps have been.
The mayor responded to that claim on Wednesday.
"We’ve had testing done of the water," Kriseman said. "He’s referring to some other material that’s in the water. We tested it and what we were really concerned most about was ‘Did the water pose a threat to human health?’
"And the answer to that was no."
Still, a lot of residents are not so sure.
Rep. David Jolly has asked more whistle blowers to come forward.
Aslo, Jolly and Sen. Marco Rubio are asking for an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.