Best Of 2016

Best recurring sh*tstorm: Dumping sewage into the bay

Best recurring sh*tstorm

When the average layperson sees a headline about city officials dumping sewage into coastal waterways, yes, it’s alarming and smacks of corruption. But behind those headlines are decades of corroding wastewater infrastructure at the local level and elected officials’ cavalier blowing off of obvious environmental problems (while welcoming a giant population influx). In St. Pete, sea-level rise and a higher frequency of storms are making flooding worse, and the city just doesn’t have the capacity to treat an influx of water along with all of the water it is already treating (as well as that of St. Pete Beach, Gulfport and other nearby municipalities). The city is investing extensively to upgrade its wastewater infrastructure, but with weather patterns and the impacts of climate change and the long time it takes to overhaul said infrastructure, it’s going to be a while. —KB