St. Pete proposes deep-injection wells as fix for sewage problems

- The city of St. Pete says it’s ready to take steps to fix its ongoing sewage issues. 

The decision comes after nearly 170 million gallons of sewage was sent into Tampa Bay during heavy rains back in 2016.

The city wants to dig four new deep-injection wells, which already exist, but the city wants to add more.

Upwards of 15 million gallons a day of reclaimed water could be pumped 1,100 feet underground.  That’s deeper, the city says, than the Floridian Aquafer.  Officials presented the plans to about 20 folks who showed up to a public information meeting Wednesday. 

“This is a way to get rid of that water. Each new well will be 15 million gallons of capacity during wet weather events,” said Bill Logan, the city’s Public Works Communications Manager.  “You need to increase the capacity of what can be discarded before you can get more thru the plant.”

Each well would cost about $2 million. One could be ready as soon as June or July.  But some worry about potential environmental impacts of pumping partially treated sewage water deep into the ground.

Resident Elizabeth Valentine said, “I’m very aware how fracking causes earthquakes.”

Barb Haselden called the wells a good idea, but was quick to point out that more still needs to be done.

“The quickest solution I think is to try and get Albert Witted online, because they can't get these wells built quick enough,” she said.

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