After recent meetings on the improvements to St. Petersburg’s sanitary sewer system, it is becoming clear that residents are watching developments with great interest.
With questions ranging from possible reactivation of the downtown Albert Whitted Plant, to costs of upgrades at other facilities and issues of resiliency system wide, public works leaders left with an increasing sense of just how important this systemwide fix is to constituents.
“Our residents want this taken care of,” said Director of Engineering and Capital Planning Brejesh Prayman. “These meetings give us a chance to explain how we are doing that.”
And while those explanations are a major part of the ongoing sewer symposiums — with the next scheduled Wednesday, March 15, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Azalea Recreation Center — the most interesting time is when residents give feedback on what they see happening.
A woman from Maximo Moorings wondered about the location of the Water Reclamation Facilities so close to the water (and what contingencies are in place for severe weather) while another attendee asked about the forecast of making it through a wet weather season without another spill (staff assured attendees that they are 100 percent sure that they have done — and will be doing — everything they can to prevent future discharges).
Questions about Injection Wells and master-planning also brought pertinent points of discussion to light in exchanges that let city staff know this is a very important issue to residents — even as they let residents know they’re doing everything they can do to get ahead of the problems
“We are working so hard on so many aspects of the sewage issue, but we may not have every angle covered,” Prayman said. “Public input — and continuing to hear what’s on the mind of the system users — keeps us aware of the whole picture,” he said.