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Port Richey neighbors fed up with ongoing sewage spills – Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida 2021-10-18 06:11:32 –

Jewels Port RichieThe Coty River is polluted by what neighbors call shame, human excrement spilling into the street and reaching the river.

Captain Bob Hubbard, Owner Island Paradise CharterSent a video to I-Team. This video describes the raw sewage that flows from a manhole out of a waterfront house into a river and shows what happens when it rains heavily.

“When I talked to city officials, they didn’t want to hear you,” Hubbard said in a video. “I absolutely hate this, so I need to fix it somehow.”

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Captain Bob Hubbard explains ongoing sewage issues in Portrichy to Team I investigative journalist Kylie McGibburn

Hubbard said he has been complaining to the city for years about the problems that plague paradise, where he calls his hometown.

“That’s something we all here have to deal with, and our neighbors come down and they always call the city,” Hubbard said.

Owner Sunset Landing Marina In Portrichie, Christine Tonkin shared an email with Team I, dated October 2019. There she shared Hubbard’s concerns about the sewage flowing into the river and contacted the city with another video of the problem.

“Oh, that’s sometimes very terrible-you just barely grab your nose. It smells. It smells like a home,” one of the Marina workers told Team I. “Whatever the problem, it only hurt everyone, so we need to deal with it or try to do something about it.”

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Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard describes the raw sewage that flows into the river from a manhole outside his waterfront home. He shows what happens when it rains a lot.

“I’ve called several times, but I haven’t heard back,” said John Heinlin, who lives across from Hubbard in Grand Boulevard.

He has lived there for the last 20 years.

“In the last few years, I’ve seen every heavy rain, or if it rains for a couple of days, the manhole cover just flows up 6 inches and pumps 10 inches. Yes, in the rainwater pipe, just outside the river, “Heinlin said. “Yes, it’s real * Abuse * Storm here in Portrichie. literally. “

“My concern is the environment. People who get sick. And is the water polluted when you kayak up and down the river? That’s my big problem,” he said.

According to Hubbard, sewage does not stop at his front door.

“I have a sunken tub. If I don’t plug it in, the house will have raw sewage,” Hubbard said, providing a photo of the mess. “I didn’t move here to live next to a sewage pool. It’s a beautiful community, a beautiful river, but it’s getting polluted, and to be honest, there’s no excuse for this. is not.”

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Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard, a resident of Port Richie, says that raw sewage enters the tub at home when it rains heavily.

Team I raises community concerns Mayor of Portrichie John Datte, And showed him a video of Hubbard.

When asked what he thought, Dudte said he shared Hubbard’s concerns.

“That’s a challenge we need to tackle,” he said.

Dudte became mayor in January, bringing a fresh eye to the Florida community and Cotee River.

“It’s really a jewel in the area,” Dudte said of the river. “It’s a kind of calling card for our small community.”

Dudte was previously the administrator of the city of Chapman, Kansas. He told Team I about the issue of sewage overflow, “it was one of the few priorities given when I got here.”

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Mayor of Portrichie John Datte

Dudte said Port Richey is an issue to share with his neighbors in New Port Richey and Pasco County.

“If it rains 6 inches an hour, that’s all we can do to catch up,” he said. “It’s easy to say that the system we have is outdated, but it sounds abandoned. That’s the reality in some places.”

The mayor said the city is developing a capital improvement plan.

“This requires a fair amount of money to deal with the old infrastructure. Like any other, the infrastructure is exhausted. And the lift station will be in 30 or 40 years. Now it’s time for repairs and replacements, so it’s nice to know that the council is funding it as a priority. We prioritize which lift stations need to be repaired now. We are working on a long-term plan and the chapel is working on it list, “Dudte said.

A chapel is a lift station that affects Hubbard and its neighbors. The station warns the city when sewage levels begin to rise and, as Hubbard sometimes sees, spills.

“It’s a very serious situation, and the state sees it that way,” Dudte said. “If there is a spill, it will be documented, processed and reported to the state.”

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I Team Review State data And since 2017, Portrichie has reported 14 spills to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Throughout 2020 Florida pier (Public servant for environmental responsibility) Monitored those emergency alerts The entire state is flooded with sewage.

As PEER pointed out, the report should include the number of spilled and purified gallons and whether it affected the body of water. That report, Released in September. But that doesn’t always happen.

A nonprofit organization that examined just 12 counties, including Hillsborough, Pineras, and Sarasota, received 856 notifications to the state last year. It accounted for over 126 million gallons of spills. According to state reports, most of them, nearly 110 million, went into the water.

The mayor of Port Richey said it was a shared issue for communities throughout Florida.

“To the extent we address and mitigate sewage problems, it’s with us and we’re working hard to minimize it,” Dudte said.

Portrichie recently purchased a new $ 500,000 vacuum truck to help pump sewage from a dilapidated lift station in the city.

“This is a big purchase for such a small town, and it costs a lot to address this issue specifically,” Dudte said. “Clean and dirty water is a top priority for the city of Portrichie.”

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Portrichie recently purchased a new $ 500,000 vacuum truck to help pump sewage from a dilapidated lift station in the city.

Hubbard said they couldn’t keep waiting.

“There are a lot of dolphins here. Manatees are always swimming by my dock. Birds, pelicans, fish from here, osprey, so it affects everything. All Residents, wildlife, everyone is affected by it, “he said. “It has been ignored, and we are frustrated and fed up with it.”

The city manager said changes will be seen in the next six months to a year as I-Team Port Richey is working on finalizing a capital improvement plan and initiating a lift station upgrade.



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