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Wastewater Collection & Maintenance

The Wastewater Collection Division

The Wastewater Collection Division of the Water Resources Department provides the maintenance and collection of wastewater in the city's wastewater collection system. With approximately fifty employees, the division works three-24 hour shifts, 365 days a year, to provide wastewater services to more than 310,000 customers.

The Wastewater Maintenance Division has received the prestigious recognition of Outstanding Collection System Program for 2007 from the Florida Water Environment Association (for more than 50,000 connections). This award recognizes the outstanding work that has been done in maintaining our city's wastewater collection system. 

Provisions for regulation of the city wastewater collection system can be found in City Code, Chapter 27, Utilities, Article III Sewers and Sewage Disposal. These provisions meet federal guidelines and include pretreatment requirements and provides details about connections, fees and charges, user requirements and industrial discharges. Tampering with the city wastewater collection system is a violation of local ordinances and Florida State Statutes.


Our wastewater system dates back to 1894. About 25 percent of its current size was in place by 193, with most of the remaining portions built between 1950 and 1962. The system includes three water reclamation facilities, geographically located throughout the city, which treat wastewater. The three service areas include 19,378 manholes; more than 888 miles of gravity mains; more than 97,932 laterals; 83 lift stations and more than 49 miles of force mains.

About our Division

The Wastewater Collection Division is divided into three sections providing emergency, preventive, and corrective maintenance. Employees participate in a four-year apprenticeship program and are trained in operating and maintaining wastewater collection system infrastructure, as well as in public health and safety. Most receive certification in Wastewater Management. Division crews utilize a variety of equipment, pumps and technology to maintain the sanitary sewer system in St. Petersburg.

Our wastewater crews are proud of their prompt response record.  Greater than 90% of received dispatch calls are responded to within the division's two-hour target response time.

Maintaining Your Private Plumbing and Wastewater Collection System

Our wastewater collection system is split into public and private entities. Public areas are maintained by the Wastewater Collection Division, while property owners are responsible for all normal maintenance of wastewater service lines on their property. Know Your Residential Wastewater System

This falls into four major categories: regular maintenance, long-term care, potential problems, and emergency care.
Private Plumbing and Wastewater Maintenance Tips

Routine and emergency maintenance work is performed throughout the city 24 hours a day to repair problems involving manholes or in utility easements. Wastewater Maintenance crews may need access to your property to evaluate a wastewater problem in the area. 

Living With A Manhole or Easement
Manhole Maintenance Taking Place Throughout St. Petersburg (Feb. 15, 2017)

Flushing Foreign Objects 

City wastewater undergoes a treatment process used to create high-quality reclaimed water which is used for irrigation. The more contaminants that are put in the wastewater stream, the more contaminated the wastewater stream becomes. You can help us operate and maintain the wastewater system by keeping foreign objects from being flushed or poured down the drain. Remember, foreign objects, either flushed or put down the drain, could compromise your system and those of your neighbors.

What You Can Do

  • Consider the ingredients in the items that you purchase and use. 
  • Do not dispose of unwanted prescription or non-prescription medications, household chemicals, cosmetics, fragrances, or pesticides down the drain or in the toilet. 
  • Learn how to dispose of medicines and other products safely.
  • Avoid disposing of flushable wipes in toilets; contrary to their name, flushable wipes do not completely break down and lead to sewer backups and overflows.

Talk to your pharmacist or check with local law enforcement to participate in programs such as National Prescription Take Back Day to safely dispose of unused or expired medications.

Have questions? Email or call 727-893-7261 and speak with our Industrial Pretreatment Office. 

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