Tampa Republican Representative Dana Young says she's never received the kind of media attention she's experienced since introducing HB 639, a bill that would transfer control of reclaimed water to the utilities that produce it — a measure that Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn strongly supports.
Young tells CL that the bill is important for Tampa residents because it gives the city "the certainty it needs to commit taxpayer dollars to build distribution systems for reclaimed water.”
Tampa has a reclaimed water system, but because of its prohibitive costs, its full potential has never been realized, as the service has been limited to residential customers in the South Tampa area only. For years, more than 50 million gallons of the product have been dumped into the Hillsborough River on a daily basis.
But a number of leading Florida environmentalists have expressed serious concerns about the bill, with the number one complaint being that the bill sets a dangerous precedent that would privatize public waters.