Alternative Supplies, Infrastructure & Cost

Tampa Bay Water has invested nearly $2 billion in the region’s water supply network to supplement our groundwater sources.

That investment in infrastructure created a diverse, interconnected system that supplies drinking water 24/7 in an environmentally sound manner. The regional system started with the acquisition of member government wellfields.

Master Water Plan – Configuration I

In 1998, Tampa Bay Water approved the first Master Water Plan, a $610 million plan to build at least 85 million gallons per day of new water, including surface water and desalinated seawater, and key pipeline interconnects. The Southwest Florida Water Management District co-funded $183 million of this far-reaching plan.

Within two years, crews broke ground and began construction, and in 2002, the first alternative water supplies began serving the region. The North-Central Hillsborough Intertie, an 84-inch diameter pipeline that connected the new supplies to the existing system, was completed in February 2002. The Tampa Bypass Canal Pump Station was completed in July 2002. Tampa Bay Water’s High Service Pump Station, which can pump up to 110 million gallons per day, became operational in August 2002. In September 2002, the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant began operations, treating water from the Tampa Bypass Canal.

The Consolidated Permit for the region's groundwater sources is Tampa Bay Water’s most significant and important permit — it accounts for about half the water we deliver, making it the single-largest piece of the water supply portfolio for the Tampa Bay region.

With new river water supplies entering the system, Tampa Bay Water millions to improve water quality and meet more stringent health standards by converting the regional system facilities to chloramine disinfection.

The Alafia River Pump Station and 72-inch diameter South-Central Hillsborough Intertie were completed in February 2003. In July 2004, the Brandon/South-Central Connection pipeline was placed in service. In March 2005, surface water began flowing to the C.W. Regional Reservoir, an off-stream storage facility designed to hold up to 15.5 billion gallons of surface water. This facility added a drought-resistant component to the new system, as water skimmed from surface water sources in wet times could be saved for use during dry times.

The last element of the first Master Water Plan to come online was the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant. This drought-proof facility became fully operational in late 2007.

Master Water Plan – Configuration II

In 2006, Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors selected the second configuration of Master Water Plan projects to continue meeting the region’s growing needs. This $212 million construction effort expanded components of the successful surface water system, including modifying surface water withdrawal permits, and increasing capacity at the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant and high service pump station. This configuration was completed in 2011.

Configuration II also included two new pump stations to convey increased flows to and from the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, new pipeline interconnections to ensure reliable delivery of alternative supplies in northwest and southern Hillsborough County, and modifications to the Morris Bridge Booster Station and Cypress Creek Pump Station to transport additional treated water through the regional system.

The district co-funded more than $305 million of these alternative water supply projects.

In 2011, Tampa Bay Water met regional demand from a diverse mix of sources: