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Tampa Wastewater Into Drinking Water Meeting Put On Hold

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa City Council meeting about converting wastewater into drinking water has been delayed.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor delayed Thursday’s expected vote on the city’s new purify natural resources for the environment plan, or PURE for short.

At least two members of Tampa city council were asking for more public input and discussion and the mayor agreed.


What You Need To Know

  • Meeting on Tampa wastewater into drinking water delayed
  • Mayor Jane Castor delayed Thursday’s expected vote on the city’s new purify natural resources for the environment plan
  • Council member Bill Carlson says more research needed
  • City of Tampa Water

The PURE project would reallocate $10 million in the water department’s budget to design the PURE program.

It would have the city cleaning the water you flush down your sink and toilet, then pumping that cleaned water into the aquifer below where the city pulls its drinking water supply.

Currently the city dumps about 50 million gallons of treated waste water into Tampa Bay every day.

PURE would allow the city to stop doing that and also increase its available drinking water supply during droughts.

A similar plan in 2019 that would have had the city dumping cleaned sewer water back into the water supply failed to pass. Council member Bill Carlson, who wanted more time to debate PURE, said he has reservations about the new proposal.

“There are potential environmental problems in putting it in the aquifer,” Carlson said. “There are potential health issues. But they need to be studied. That’s why the alternatives need to be studied too.”

The PURE program vote will be delayed for several weeks to open it up for more debate.

If eventually approved, it could be ready to go by 2027.

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