South County drinking water project to ensure even flows
A new, multi-million dollar drinking water facility currently is taking shape along I-75.
RUSKIN – Designed to maintain an even South County potable water supply during peak use times, a new, multi-million dollar facility currently is taking shape beside I-75.
The most visible component in early development of the South County Potable Water Repump Station, located north of S.R. 674 on the west side of the interstate highway, is a pre-stressed concrete water storage tank with a three-million-gallon capacity, according to Gita Iranipour, project manager in Hillsborough’s Public Utilities Department.
Completion of the tank construction and accompanying pumping station is expected in the last quarter of this year.
Ground for the repumping station, a $5.25 million project, was broken in September, 2010. The station will be capable of handling 12.5 million gallons per day, the extra capacity available if the station were to be expanded with a second storage tank in the future, Iranipour said. Costs were budgeted several years ago, she added.
Its purpose is to ensure consistent operating pressures throughout the county’s South Central Service Area, including all of the South County region, during peak demand hours, the project manager said. About 310,000 people receive their potable water through the South Central system.
Once completed, this first tank will receive water for storage from the county’s Lithia water treatment plant which, in turn, is supplied primarily by ground water, with a blend of surface and desalinated waters supplemented, Iranipour said. The new tank may or may not be filled to capacity, depending on the peak demand requirements experienced, she also indicated.
The one change water customers may notice as the repumping station comes online later in the year is a more consistent water pressure whenever demands do reach their peak, whether during heaviest use hours of the day or during drier months of the year, the project manager noted.
The repumping station also is expandable and, whenever development recovers from the current economic downturn, another storage tank could be added to meet increased demand well into the future, she said. However, it now is estimated that consideration of such expansion will not be required for perhaps another decade.
One more feature of the new station is the security designed to protect the integrity of the water supply.
Copyright 2011 Melody Jameson