St. Pete Beach declares sewer system emergency

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Cones and sandbags sit over drains in St. Pete Beach Wednesday morning, after heavy rain from Tropical Storm Colin caused raw sewage to flow into the streets.

It appears the sewage has stopped spilling Wednesday morning, however residents have been requested to stop using the sanitary sewer system until further notice.

Public works director Mike Clarke says the city pumps it’s sewage to St. Petersburg for treatment, but the sanitary sewer pipe and pump station system is completely full and not able to accept additional flow from the tropical storm system.

“This means not taking showers, baths, laundry, dish washing and any other use of water that enters the sanitary sewer system. While we understand that the flushing of toilets is necessary we urge everyone to be cautious and limit use as much as possible. We expect this situation to continue through the day until the storm passes and for several hours after until the waters recede,” Clarke said.

Vacuum trucks pumped water from manhole covers for more than 15 hours on Tuesday trying to bring some relief to the system, but raw sewage continued to pour into the street on Tuesday evening.

The head of public works should have an update on Wednesday as to how much sewage ended up into Boca Ciega Bay. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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