City of Tampa cleans out storm water pipes, removes tons of trash in effort to reduce flooding

Posted at 2:14 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 18:12:14-04

Scuba drivers are cleaning out more than a decade's worth of barnacles in underwater storm runoff pipes along Bayshore Boulevard.

The storm water maintenance is part of a new effort by the City of Tampa to reduce storm water flooding from Davis Islands, to Bayshore Boulevard and Westshore.

"They've not been cleaned out in decades. Some probably have never been cleaned out and part of the reason, we just never had a dedicated fund source,” said Jean Duncan, City of Tampa Stormwater Division.

The city is devoting $1.1 million dollars to the maintenance work which is long overdue and adds to a major public safety concern for South Tampa when heavy rains sweep through the area.

Contractors have removed 45 tons of trash from storm water pipes along Bayshore Boulevard from Platt Street to Rome Avenue.

"Oh my gosh! There's toys, hubcaps, parts of appliances. We have retro-debris, you know, 1970's coke bottles,” said Duncan.

"It's a crap shoot, you know, you hold your breath and hope you make it through,” said Michael Dady who drives to work in South Tampa.

PHOTOS | Divers remove trash from Tampa storm water pipes

Homeowners are paying for the maintenance through utility assessment fee increases.

The maintenance kicks off a much larger capital improvement storm water plan.

The city is also using heavy equipment to clean out outfall areas between Bayshore and Westshore.

Maintenance is already complete on Davis Islands.

Do you have a flooding issue you want to report to the City? Click here

Click here for Stormwater service requests