Update: “toilet-to-tap” tabled; Tampa City Council will vote on utility rate increase, sewer infrastructure

Sep 11, 2019

Update to this story, 5 September 2019:

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor tells WMNF she’s taken the “toilet-to-tap” idea out of this discussion for now.

“Yes, we are going to take that out. But I want to caution the public that water is going to be the number one issue moving into the future. And the last thing we can afford to do is waste 60 million gallon of water a day. And so we should start with that base and then moved from there, what to do with that water.

“It’s going to be a commodity that is necessary, moving into the future. And, we can’t wait until the faucets run dry in order to start looking for these alternative sources.”

Original post below:

On Thursday evening Tampa City Council will hold a public hearing to consider utility bill increases to pay for about $3 billion in repairs to sewer pipes and other water infrastructure.

But there’s been push back from some city council members about how few residents will be eligible for a low-income assistance program and about the inclusion of a plan to inject highly-treated wastewater into the drinking water aquifer.

WMNF talked with one of them, Bill Carlson, the Tampa City Council member representing District 4.

“So, the pipes throughout the city are mostly decades-old, with some of them, I think, approaching a hundred years old. And, the city has experienced, over the last few years, collapses in pipes that have led to flooding, and road closures, and other kinds of problems. The cost of repair of the pipes has been increasing exponentially over the last few years as a pipes get older and older. So, the City Administration has proposed a water – wastewater rate increase to pay for, eventually replacing most, if not all, the pipes within the city.”

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