sewage spills

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

As if loss of air conditioning and refrigeration weren't bad enough, widespread power outages in hurricane-battered Florida are teaming with structural failures to cause another headache: sewage overflows.

Local governments have submitted well over 100 "notices of pollution" to the state Department of Environmental Protection since Hurricane Irma struck, some involving multiple spills and releases of millions of gallons of wastewater in various stages of treatment.

Rain and power outages from Hurricane Irma led to sewage spills across Florida, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

A state investigation into St. Petersburg's sewage spills places much of the blame on the decision to close the Albert Whitted wastewater treatment facility.

It’s that time of year again, the Atlantic hurricane season is upon us. This week on Florida Matters we’re taking a look at how various areas of the state are preparing for hurricane season, and at some new changes in storm response efforts.


When it rains in St. Petersburg, as much as four times the amount of sewage can flow through the city's wastewater plants.

www.hrpdcva.gov

The lead contamination in Flint, Michigan and the sewage spills in St. Petersburg are only two of many examples of why more consumers are asking questions about the quality of their own drinking water.

That's one of the findings of a new survey being released this week by the Water Quality Association, a national trade organization representing the water treatment industry.

City of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman gave his annual State of the City address over the weekend, addressing challenges including the release of more than 100 million gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay and onto the city's streets this past summer.

Lawmakers are vowing to strengthen public notice requirements for toxic spills after an administrative law judge struck down an emergency rule by Governor Rick Scott.

St. Petersburg faces $820,000 in fines from the Department of Environmental Protection for releasing over 200 million of gallons of sewage during summer storms.

The Department of Environmental Protection is tinkering with new regulations that would expedite public notification for pollution.   But many industrial interests are pushing back.