St. Petersburg has released partially treated wastewater into Tampa Bay from the Albert Whitted wastewater facility, which is currently being used for storage capacity.
The city is allowed to do this under its wastewater treatment permit because of the stress placed on the system by Tropical Storm Colin and the flooding of the system from processing wastewater for St. Pete Beach, Gulfport and Treasure Island. This permit allows bypassing around wastewater plants when unusual emergency circumstances are experienced. This bypass will allow partially treated wastewater to be discharged directly into Tampa Bay at a level of treatment similar to what was normal in the 1970s.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been notified of the discharge.
The discharge began at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The city will sample the discharge water to document the quality of that water.
The discharge outfall is located approximately one-quarter of a mile into Tampa Bay, east of Albert Whitted Airport. Residents are advised to avoid contact with the water in that area of Tampa Bay.