TAMPA, Fla. — Work crews with the City of Tampa have uncovered hundreds of cubic yards of waste from large pipes along Manhattan Avenue in Tampa.
This photo of the Manhattan Ave Interceptor Cleaning project shows grout that was removed from a wastewater pipe near Fair Oaks. To date, crews have cleaned 9,490LF &removed 566CY of debris! Projects like PIPES will help us replace old pipes &maintain our water/wastewater systems pic.twitter.com/slGABF4Kkl— City of Tampa (@CityofTampa) January 27, 2020
Work crews found grout, a type of concrete, while cleaning a large diameter pipe in the Manhattan Avenue/Fair Oaks area through the Manhattan Ave Interceptor Cleaning Project.
The city believes this is the result of illegal dumping, according to Eric Weiss, Director of the Wastewater Department for City of Tampa.
City leaders are assuming this grout is about 10 to 20 years old. The pipe is about 40 years old, they said.
So far, they've collected about 560 cubic yards of waste on this project, which fills 37 dump trucks.
If not removed, engineers say it would cause wastewater overflows.
The City of Tampa has 11 cleaner trucks and they do the smaller pipes once every 7 years but have never done the larger pipes. Right now, they're cleaning 1,500 miles of pipes so they are at full capacity through the City of Tampa P.I.P.E.S. project.
They can clean one to two pipes at a time, with working in 15-foot sections.
Most of the time they find grease, sand and flushable wipes, which Weiss said is by far the biggest problem.