Multi-million dollar St Pete sewage fixes begin

Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 18:30:06-05

St Petersburg is committed to fixing its sewage problems, and work has already begun to make the city’s two main sewer plants capable to take on more water during rainstorms and hurricanes. 


Over the next five years, 305 millions dollars will be poured into fixing the sewage system. 


St Pete is working to fix the problems now before the rainy months ahead. 


It’s welcoming news for Ed Carlson, whose Jungle Terrace neighborhood was inundated with 58 million gallons of sewage. The water poured through the streets, the parks, people’s yards and even bubbled out of the manhole covers.


“I don’t get angry but it stimulated me into energetic action,” Carlson explained.


Carlson helped push the city into fixes. Now, crews will soon begin $16 million in upgrades to the Northwest plant, just a few blocks from his home, to prevent future spills.  


The city will drill two injection wells to allow the plant to treat 15 million more gallons of sewage and store the treated sewage deep underground. 


Across the city, Mayor Rick Kriseman has said he is willing to spend $304 million to fix the city's sewers over the next 5 years. 


City spokesperson Bill Logan says they can’t guarantee they’ll stop all the sewage problems, but they’re doing the most they can to make sure the sewage plants are ready for the upcoming rainy season and beyond. 


“We are 100% doing everything we can to keep that from happening again,” Logan explained.


The work around the Northwest Sewage plant may be noisy, and will be done around the clock for about a year, but Carlson doesn’t mind. “Get it done, do it right and do it right now,” he added.


The city is hosting several information sessions. One is from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday at Walter Fuller Recreation Center. 


St Pete is also hosting a “sewer symposium” on March 15 at the Azalea Recreation Center from 6:00-7:30 p.m.