Kriseman: City has plan to solve sewage problem

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St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman says the administration now has a solution to the city’s sewage crisis.

The city was forced to dump millions of gallons of sewage into the bay – because the system couldn’t handle all the storm water during major rain events.

“If the Cubs can win the World Series, then fixing our infrastructure is totally doable,” Kriseman joked to City Council Thursday afternoon.

Kriseman’s plan comes with a price tag of $304 million and includes an overhaul of the system, over five years.  

The first two years will focus on increasing the amount of sewage and storm water each treatment plant can hold during severe weather events. However, considering two thirds of sewage being processed on a sunny day is ground water making its way into leaky pipes, Councilman Charlie Gerdes wants to know why the leaky pipes weren’t at the top of the list.

“I need to understand why creating all of this extra capacity is smarter… verses funding, getting the collection system to be as leak-free as can be,” Gerdes said.

Claude Tankersley, public works administrator, says fast-tracking the fix to capacity problems will prevent future dumping into the Bbay during storms.