Moving forward with Water Resources: From Consent Order to Master Planning
St. Petersburg, Fla. (September 22, 2017) – Moving forward with infrastructure improvements and coordinated plans to holistically address water issues, Public Works leaders -- as well as the Mayor and City Council -- are encouraged that St. Petersburg’s sewer situation is improving.
On Thursday, City Council Members heard Pollution Control proposals that would be implemented by St. Petersburg in lieu of paying $810,000 in civil fines to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as part of state consent decree. The city is already working with DEP on planning and implementing $326 million in upgrades and enhancements to its wastewater system.
From aeration of city ponds – like Lake Maggiore – to more street sweeping, Water Resources staffers’ suggestions focused on sustainability and water quality issues.
“These are tangible, trackable methods that can prove pollution reduction,” said John Palenchar, Interim Director of Water Resources. Council will vote on specific projects and expenditures at a meeting in October.
But council members already unanimously endorsed the hiring of a new program manager for the city’s Integrated Water Resource Planning Project. Principals with Jacobs Engineering Group – an international technical services firm – explained how they will work with Water Resources and Public Works operations to create a “one-water” plan.
Understanding how potable (drinking) water, wastewater, stormwater, reclaimed water and recreational water uses overlap and interface will be key in moving forward with the integrated initiative.
“It’s an important process,” said Public Works Administrator Claude Tankersley. “We are excited to get moving forward from the current consent order to long-term solutions.”
Bringing fresh ideas and perspective, Jacobs will provide program leadership for a short period of time, before empowering city staff and leadership to take the “one-water” programming and implementation into the community… into the future.
We will continue to bring updates on those new ideas and creative concepts over the next weeks, months and years.