New water supply feasibility studies set for March 2022 completion
Tampa Bay Water’s Long-term Master Water Plan is a 20-year framework for meeting the region’s future drinking water needs. Updated every five years, the plan involves feasibility studies for new water projects, one or more of which are later chosen by the board to build.
Tampa Bay Water has been studying the feasibility of three new projects in the current Long-term Master Water Plan cycle: expanding the Surface Water Treatment Plant, expanding the Desalination Plant, and constructing a new wellfield via aquifer recharge credits. These three feasibility studies are set to be complete in March to give the board time to review its options before voting to move forward with one or more projects by the end of 2022.
Surface Water expansion study evaluates the feasibility of increasing Tampa Bay Water’s annual yield of surface water by 10-12.5 million gallons per day (mgd). It also involves evaluating an alternative location, including benefits and risks, for a new surface water treatment plant near the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir. Tampa Bay Water held a public meeting May 20, 2021, to gain feedback on this project.
Seawater Desalination Plant expansion study evaluates the feasibility of increasing Tampa Bay Water’s available desalinated seawater supply by 10-12.5 mgd. The desalination plant is able to supply up to 25 mgd of drinking water in the current configuration and the feasibility of both optimizing the current production capacity and expanding the production capacity are being evaluated.
South Hillsborough Wellfield via Aquifer Recharge Credits study is evaluating the feasibility of increasing Tampa Bay Water’s available groundwater by 6.15 mgd by developing a new wellfield and associated collection mains and water treatment facilities using credits from the injection of reclaimed water by Hillsborough County. Tampa Bay Water held public meetings for this project Aug. 24, 2021, and Jan. 26, 2022, to gain public feedback. For this project to be considered, Tampa Bay Water and Hillsborough County must come to an agreement on reclaimed water credit pricing before the Tampa Bay Water June 2022 board meeting.