Due to massive rainfalls earlier this month during Hurricane Hermine, St. Petersburg sewage treatment systems began discharging partially treated sewage, comingled with rain water, into Tampa Bay. This has resulted in over 111 million gallons of sewer overflows in the Bay.
While this obviously constitutes a failure in St. Petersburg infrastructure and a threat to public health, residents and the City Council were not notified of the sewage contamination until September 7, a day after they stopped pumping waste into the Bay.
City officials are saying the water is clean, but their own monitoring says otherwise. GRN has completed an analysis of the monitoring data [download pdf of report here] and has found the following:
• There are still high levels of fecal coliform bacteria in waters they are sampling.
• They have stopped sampling in 16 of 23 sampling sites, without adequate evidence or...