Tampa considering a new plan to use treated wastewater in the drinking supply

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The City of Tampa’s primary drinking water source is the Hillsborough River. However, each day millions of gallons of wastewater are treated and then pumped into Tampa Bay.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor would like to see the reclaimed water go through an additional process and then be used as part of the drinking water supply.

“Water is going to be the number one issue facing not only the Tampa Bay area, but our nation and the world in the not too distant future,” Castor said.

Similar plans have been rejected in the past after a public push back. Castor said pumping treated wastewater into Tampa Bay doesn’t make sense.

“We can not afford to waste 60 million gallons of water every single day which is what we are doing by pumping treated water out into the bay,” she said.

City Councilman John Dingfelder has worked with the Sierra Club in the past and been very involved in environmental issues. He said it’s a plan worth considering.

“Anything as important as water needs to be recycled at some point and I do think it’s silly that we’ve been throwing it in the bay,” said Dingfelder, although he is aware the plan has failed before because of public concerns. “There is definitely a concern out there and we have to proceed very cautiously.”

Tampa’s City Council will hear from the head of the Tampa Water Department later in February on a treated wastewater proposal.

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