sewage

Twenty years ago, only a few areas in the Keys had central sewer systems.

The rest of the island chain was using a combination of shallow injection wells, septic tanks — and even some cesspits, basically holes in the ground that provided no treatment at all.

Since the Keys consists of fossilized coral, that meant polluted water could easily move to canals and shorelines.

The environmental advocacy group Miami Waterkeeper is suing Miami-Dade County for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act after finding a sewage pipe that might have been leaking into the ocean for almost a year.

The Waterkeepers filed a notice of intent to sue in 60 days. The lawsuit will ask the county to fix this leak and inspect all outfall pipes, as well as suggest that the county contribute to the Biscayne Bay restoration trust fund, instead of paying civil penalties.

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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.

About 50,000 gallons of partially-treated sewage overflowed Wednesday from a water treatment plant in south St. Petersburg.

Over a period of eight hours on June 20, more than 700,000 gallons of raw sewage — poop and wastewater — spilled from a 63-inch pipe on NW 155 Lane, just south of State Road 826 near the Golden Glades.   

The Duval County Health Department will receive just over a half million dollars from the state Department of Environmental Protection for its septic tank survey project.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage spilled onto Pinellas County streets and into waterways after last year's tropical storms. A task force set up to address the issue provided an update on their progress on Thursday in Seminole.

A new law signed today requires public notification within 24 hours of pollution incidents. 

A federal investigation into St. Petersburg’s sewage releases has been closed.

On a typical spring day, when it hasn't rained in a while, about 7 million gallons of raw sewage flows into St. Petersburg's southwest water treatment plant.

St. Petersburg officials are repairing about 2,000 manholes to make sure the city's sewage system is not overwhelmed during heavy rainfall.

Suzanne Young

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

A Senate committee in Tallahassee unanimously passed a bill that would set standards for how to swiftly notify the public about pollution. It’s an issue residents in the Tampa Bay Area have grown weary of. 


Suzanne Young

Authorities along the Space Coast say a broken sewer pipe accidentally released 14,000 gallons of raw sewage into a storm water system that flows into the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County.

The Dutch have famously fought the water for hundreds of years, giving them a reputation for water management. But for all the novel solutions Dutch engineers have produced, lowland areas in The Netherlands face rising sea levels, sinking land through subsidence, high river discharge, and water quality issues linked with agriculture.

This summer, more than 215 million gallons of wastewater poured into the Floridan Aquifer when a sinkhole opened up at the Mosaic fertilizer plant in Polk County.

Suzanne Young

A researcher who tested the water around St. Petersburg for antibiotic resistant bacteria after the city released sewage into Tampa Bay didn't find any.

Suzanne Young

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 Pinellas County legislative delegation met Wednesday to prevent another massive spill of sewage into the county's waterways because of overloaded - and outdated - sewage treatment systems.

But one thing is becoming clear after hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage overflowed into Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay after heavy rains this summer - a solution won't be cheap.

Suzanne Young

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has rolled out a plan that he hopes will keep more sewage from flowing into Tampa Bay.

Utility Companies Concerned About Pollution Notification Plan

Oct 27, 2016
Suzanne Young

Representatives of utility companies and municipalities told environmental regulators this week they are concerned that a proposed pollution-notification rule could place excessive reporting burdens on industry and local governments.

A massive sinkhole under a phosphate plant in Central Florida is dumping millions of gallons of contaminated water into the ground. West in Tampa, that city’s mayor is facing questions about his handling of a sewage spill into the bay. And in North Florida, a fight over a proposed wastewater pipeline, has surrounding counties picking sides.

St. Petersburg is facing scrutiny over its recent decision to pump 20 million gallons of sewage from an overloaded treatment plant into Tampa Bay.

One national environmental organization is warning: similar overflows could become more common as the climate changes.


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Gov. Rick Scott has ordered the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to investigate a sewage spill in St. Petersburg.

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Members of Pinellas County's legislative delegation say the early closure of a sewage plant is a main reason why the city of St. Petersburg had to release millions of gallons of partially treated sewage into Tampa Bay during Hurricane Hermine.

At a delegation workshop Tuesday city officials explained that the Albert Whitted plant near downtown could still be running today, but closed in April 2015. At the time, city officials told the state another sewage plant in the southwest part of the city could handle the additional load.

Robert Neff (Flickr)

St. Petersburg has a plan to minimize sewage spills during major rain events and the Department of Environmental Protection wants to ensure it follows through.

Terry Foote (Wikimedia Commons)

Dozens of juvenile seabirds called black skimmers have been found dead along Gulf Coast beaches over the past six weeks.

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

When the sewer system in St. Petersburg became overwhelmed by rain from Tropical Storm Colin the city had to pump sewage into Tampa Bay.

St. Pete Beach had the same problem and pumped sewage into Boca Ciega Bay.

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State inspectors say a failing sewage plant in southwest Florida pumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of inadequately treated liquid sewage into nearby mangroves earlier this year.

After 112 manatees, 52 dolphins and 300 pelicans died in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, researchers began looking for answers. One found a concoction of toxins on seaweed eaten by the dead manatees, but that didn’t explain why the dolphins and pelicans, which eat fish, are dying as well.