Construction begins on St. Petersburg injection well

By Cait McVey, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017, 5:05 PM EDT

The City of St. Petersburg held a ground breaking ceremony Monday for one of at least four injection wells it hopes will ease sewage problems in the city.

"Most of the time when we do ground breakings or ribbon cuttings, they're at new libraries and rec centers and all those things you can put a plaque on that look nice," said Mayor Rick Kriseman.

"You don't see them very often on infrastructure projects."

Especially ones that highlight major problems, like the city's recent sewage issues.

Since 2015, millions of gallons of sewage have been dumped or spilled into area waterways and even neighborhoods. As a result, Mayor Kriseman has promised to tackle outdated infrastructure, to the tune of $304 million.

The injection wells will send reclaimed water into a confined aquifer more than 1,100 feet beneath the ground.

"This is actually our newest generation rig," said Harvey Youngquist of Youngquist Brothers, the company responsible for well construction.

"It is diesel powered, but all of the ancillary equipment is electrically operated, so it is very quiet."

The machinery is set to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with well completion expected in 120 days.

Each one will cost approximately $2 million.