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St Petersburg prepares for Wet Weather

St. Petersburg, Fla.  (May 25, 2018) -- With what could end up being the first Tropical Storm of the year bringing days of rain to the Tampa Bay Area, St. Petersburg Public Works crews wasted no time making sure that they ready.

From Stormwater workers clearing drains and storm grates… to Water Resources crews and contractors buttoning up sewer plants… there was no time to waste.

“It’s getting ready for the storm…” said, Ken Wise, Chief Operator of the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility, where tens of millions of dollars in system treatment and disposal capacity work has doubled the plant’s ability to deal with the extra wastewater that heavy rains can bring.  While he’s confident that work is paying off, he and his operations team is taking no chances.

“You have to start emptying your storage tanks and getting ready for any empty tanks to take extra flow into them, if you need them,” he said – pointing to a now-empty reject water tank. 

In addition to making more room to hold millions of gallons of water that’s been through the treatment process, the plant property  -- still a massive construction zone -- is being re-graded to help keep any runoff from running onto nearby properties.

“The storm swale had pretty much been damaged with the construction,” said Wise. “So we put some of the contractors to restoring the swale to get it to our stormwater pond.”

Recently completed injection wells will be employed to dispose of reclaimed quality water that won’t be used by customers… and operators will be standing by to make sure it’s all running like it should – even though it’s Memorial Day Weekend.   

“We’ll stay out as long as we need to,” said Wise.


View St. Petersburg Public Works YouTube story here:

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City of St. Petersburg
P.O. Box 2842
St. Petersburg, FL 33731

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