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St. Petersburg mayor: Tampa's water troubles wouldn't happen here

By Mark Puente and Richard Danielson

ST. PETERSBURG — It wouldn't happen here.

That's what St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said Tuesday about Tampa's water problems last weekend.

The city, Foster said, not only has backup generators (like Tampa) but also a water tower. So if one of the three pump stations failed, the system would be routed around the failed station.

Even in a catastrophic event, he said, the water tower at Crescent Lake would provide pressure for at least 10 hours until a station could come back online.

Foster also was incredulous to see and hear news reports blaming a squirrel for the problem.

"There's no reason why that should happen," Foster said. "A rodent shouldn't be able to knock out a water system."

Told of his comments, Tampa officials defended their response.

Continued...