By LINDA CHION KENNEY
A virtual open house has been established for people interested in learning more about the proposed $12 million drinking water booster pump station in the Riverview area, south of the Lithia Water Treatment Plant.
According to county officials, the new station would “increase water pressure in the distribution center west and south of the new pumps” and that without this new station, “existing water pressure issues will become more severe and more widespread, so that even customers who aren’t experiencing problems may start to see issues.”
The potable water booster station also would boost reliable water pressure for firefighters.
During peak hours, residents experiencing low water pressure might find washing machines taking a long time to fill, showers and faucets slowing to a trickle and water pipes giving off a whistling sound.
South Hillsborough County areas that might be experiencing these issues are Apollo Beach, Sun City Center and parts of Riverview.
For this project, county engineering studies have targeted two adjacent vacant parcels northeast of Balm Riverview and Big Bend roads, roughly 500 feet from the existing water drinking water transmission pipeline running along Big Bend Road.
This location, at 13004 Gordon Road, reportedly would minimize the amount of pipe construction necessary, as well as provide a sufficient buffer for adjacent properties.
The site sits across the street from Summerfield Elementary School.
County officials seek public input by October 4, after which project manager Bradley Warholak is set to follow-up on comments and questions raised during the two-week feedback period.
County officials propose to place the booster pumps and associated equipment inside an insulated concrete building designed to blend into surrounding structures, much like the booster station on Duncan Road in Bloomingdale. This reportedly would control pump noises “so they are unnoticeable to surrounding neighbors.”
Designs call for the approximately 5,000- square-foot building to be contained within a 6-foot privacy fence with trees surrounding the property line. No odors are expected because the station is to service the drinking water system.
The South County Potable (Drinking) Water Booster Pump Station also calls for a short section of water pipe to connect the new pump station to the existing water main on the south side of Big Bend Road.
Booster pumps increase water pressure and flow downstream of the pumps by counteracting the effects of elevation changes, distance and high water demand.
The $12 million project is funded through the Public Utilities Capital Improvement Program approved by Hillsborough County commissioners. The project is identified as CIP No. 32011.
County officials expect to acquire the vacant parcels and name a design consultant by early 2021. An additional public engagement period would be set before finalizing design plans.
Construction completion is expected within one year from start and projected to end in early 2022.
County officials say they will keep the community informed of construction activities that could impact traffic or create noise.
To learn more and to address your comments and concerns online by Oct. 4, visit: https://bit.ly/3n0dc7B. Comments and questions will be forwarded to Project Manager Bradley Warholak, 813-209-3051. Email: WarholakB@HCFLGov.net.