In a Friday afternoon news release, the City of Gulfport announced on its Facebook that its sewer system “282,000 gallons of diluted wastewater into Boca Ciega Bay between the hours of 6:00 AM Tuesday and 8:30 AM Thursday morning.”
“The reason our system overflowed is because we send the water to the same place St. Pete does, which is the Eckerd facility”, said Council Member Dan Liedtke . “As far as I know, the City of St. Pete owns and operates the Eckerd facility.”
“The City of St. Pete Beach, not to be confused with the City of St. Pete, also dumped a couple of million gallons into the intracoastal for the same reason we had a spill”, said Liedtke (pictured right).
Liedtke went on to say that “in Gulfport, we didn’t intentionally pump into the intracoastal waterway as one other city did. We had overflows at two manholes caused by the Eckerd facility’s inability to receive our sewer water.”
When asked about why the city had not reported the St. Pete raw sewage spill on it’s website or Facebook page, Liedtke said “I’m sorry about that, we were busy dealing with our own problems and for the reasons I told you. We want citizens to know the truth, and we can handle truth. The only one who can’t handle the truth is Rick Kriseman.” Liedtke was referring to the mayor of St. Petersburg.
We asked about why Gulfport had not released the information until 2 P.M. on a Friday afternoon. Liedtke said the city had to close the beach, deal with other spill-related issues, compile the data and make sure that the information they released was accurate. Liedtke has received the report via e-mail at about 1:30 P.M., minutes before it was posted on the city’s Facebook page.
“We are not as Facebook-savvy or Twitter-savvy as Rick Kriseman, but when we do put out information, we try to make sure it’s accurate” Liedkte said. “Kriseman said in a tweet on June 7th that ‘wastewater discharge into Clam Bayou is not necessary or a scenario. St. Pete or Gulfport residents should not worry’. Kriseman said this as the the raw sewage was flowing into Clam Bayou.”
When asked why he was being so pointed about this issue, Liedtke said “because I want Kriseman to address the issue. I live on the water, and you should see how brown my water has been the last few days.”
This is a developing story, so please return for updates.