ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Heavy rain started in St. Petersburg Wednesday during the early morning hours and showed no signs of letting up. Water was already everywhere by that evening. So the city's message to residents may seem strange. The mayor wants everyone to conserve water.
The reason behind the campaign is to reduce the amount of water going into the city's sewers. Back in June, Tropical Storm Colin presented the area with a similar situation. St. Petersburg's sewers were overflowing and the city said it had to pump thousands of gallons of sewage into the Bay.
Now, Tropical Storm Hermine is dumping inches of rain on many coastal areas, threatening to create a similar problem. This time, however, the city hopes recent improvements to the system will reduce that chance. The city just finished adding 3,000,000 gallons of capacity to the sewer system.
City leaders hope it will handle the water, but Mayor Rick Kriseman is asking for help.
"If they can avoid doing their laundry, doing their dishes, taking a shower, any of those type of things, we'd ask them to not do that right now, because that water gets into our sewer system and that just adds to our problems," says Kriseman.
City officials are watching the weather and sewer systems closely. They're not ruling out the possibility that they may have to pump into the Bay again.