Water-Related News

Untreated sewage from broken pipes will flow into Tampa reservoir

Some of the 4 million gallons of untreated sewage from a pair of broken pipes will flow into Tampa's reservoir on the Hillsborough River in two days, but should not pose a problem for water customers, a water department official said today (Mar. 23rd).

"It's not a threat at all," said Brad Baird, director of the city's water department.

The city's water treatment plant is designed to handle contaminants in the river water, including bacteria from sewage, he said. "It's not a big deal for the water treatment plant."

The untreated sewage that flowed from two sewer line breaks last week near Trout Creek is working its way through the tributary to the Hillsborough River.

Environmental officials consider it a major spill but don't expect the pollution to cause long-term damage to the river or a large fish kill, said Paula Noblitt, manager for the county Environmental Protection Commission.

The sewage will lower oxygen levels in the river as it passes and later when algae feeds on the nutrients and blooms, she said. Fish can swim out of areas with low oxygen.

Any effects on the river will not be long-term ...