Pinellas County Wastewater/Sewer Task Force: Recommendations (Includes Gulfport)
February 14, 2017
Goal: Reduce Inflow/Infiltration into Sanitary Sewer Systems; Mitigate Spills; Protect the Environment and Water Bodies
You may be aware that both the Pinellas State Legislative Delegation and the Pinellas County Commission has been working on their own plans and actions to address the wastewater/sewage problems throughout Pinellas County. This summary is specific to the Pinellas County Taskforce on "wastewater/stormwater" issues. The Task Force, comprised of the County, other agencies and 17 Cities (including Gulfport), has been meeting since the Fall of 2016 and is charged with developing specific action plans. Actions include: 1) identifying events and infrastructure deficiencies throughout the County that increases sewer overflows; 2) addressing adequate wastewater capacity and storage, including increasing each; 3) identifying specific wastewater and stormwater solutions, including alternate system ideas; and 4) recommending how to avoid future discharges.
For the City of Gulfport, Public Works Director Don Sopak was an active member of the Task Force. He was able to share Gulfport's current strategies and work underway to improve and upgrade our sewer systems. City Manager O'Reilly and myself attended the Task Force update meetings along the way. [Note: summaries and videos of the meetings are availbale on the County's webpage.]
Lastly, one key discussion and recommendation from the Task Force (and also a priority for the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation) is incentivizing the improvement of "private lateral sewer lines." As you may know, we officially submitted to the State Legislature a request for funding to develop a Gulfport Private Lateral Lines Support Program (NOTE: specific details have not yet been developed). Please see separate article in this newsletter (plus a details slide deck) on laterals.
Below are resources and select slides from the Pinellas County Task Force on Wastewater/Stormwater issues. It is a good thing that Gulfport has played a very important role in this effort.