St. Petersburg has spent much of this year being bashed over a run-down sewer system that was unable to handle heavy rains from two storms.
The failure of the system to handle the amount of rain resulted in the dumping of thousands of gallons of raw and partly treated sewage into Tampa Bay.
The city is kicking off the new year with a $10 million project designed to upgrade the Southwest sewer plant with the construction of four to five new injection wells and monitoring wells.
The first step in that project is a public meeting Tuesday to explain the project and to get comments and suggestions from the public. A second meeting will be held Jan. 11 at the Lake Vista Community Center.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Water Resources Complex, 1650 Third Ave. N.
Although the meeting is scheduled for five and a half hours, it’s not going to be going on for that length of time, said Bill Logan, the city’s public works spokesman.
The idea, he said, is to make it more convenient for people to come to the meeting. While there will be a presentation early in the time frame, city staff and officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection will be available the entire time to answer questions and make note of suggestions.
The city is fast-tracking the project, Logan said. If all goes as planned, drilling for the reclaimed injection wells would begin toward the end of January or beginning of February. The new wells are expected to help add capacity, which could help prevent another overflow. Construction would be complete before the summer rainy season arrives.