PURE or “Toilet to Tap”? What’s Going in Tampa’s Drinking Water?

The Mayor calls it “PURE.” The Tampa City Council calls it “Toilet To Tap.” It is the plan to mix highly treated wastewater with the City’s drinking water by 2032. Environmentalists and neighborhood activists strongly oppose it, saying we don’t know enough to deem it safe or how much it will cost. But, State law says Tampa can’t keep dumping its treated wastewater into Tampa Bay. Recently, the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection declined to give Tampa an exemption from the state statute that requires wastewater be used for “beneficial purposes” and Florida’s DEP found that releasing it in the bay did not comply.