Mar 16, 2020

Tampa Studies Storm Water System

Tampa, Florida is studying how to make its storm water system handle rising seas

storm water

Tampa, Florida city officials and consultants from Applied Sciences, with the help of a $7,500 state grant, are completing a study to assess flooding.

The study is examining six high-risk areas around the city to see what the effects of rising seas will be on the surrounding neighborhoods, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

Several spots on both sides of the South Tampa peninsula, Wellswood and Davis Islands were picked as representative spots, although they’re far from the only at-risk areas, however.

According to Matthew Goolsby, an Applied Sciences senior water resources engineer, Tampa has about 560 outfalls. 

Rising seas are putting many of them at risk of being underwater, which would allow water to flow back up into the storm water system and make flooding far worse. A range of options are on the table, including pumping, underground storage vaults and elevating the outfalls above the anticipated high water marks, reported the Tampa Bay Times

“The good news is that we’re talking about it, it’s ahead, we have some time to plan for it. And it looks like between the state and the federal government and the city, that the resources are being allocated to include these impacts and our future projects,” said Elie G. Araj, the president of Applied Sciences.

In 2016, the City Council approved an assessment that will eventually cost the owner of a medium-size house just under $90 a year, reported the Tampa Bay Times. The $251 million plan is on the books for 30 years. 

In 2015, council members rejected a similar plan by a 4-3 vote.

A meeting to present the study publicly this week has been postponed.

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