Surface Water Treatment Plant Expansion

This text describes the graphic at the bottom of this page.

Tampa Bay Water’s Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant is located in Tampa. The facility has operated successfully since 2002, providing 50 million gallons per day (mgd) annual average of high-quality drinking water to the region. The facility is the hub of Tampa Bay Water’s Enhanced Surface Water System. When available, water is skimmed from the Tampa Bypass Canal, Hillsborough and Alafia rivers. Some is treated for immediate use at the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant, and surplus water is stored in the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir to supply the water treatment plant during dry times.

The surface water treatment plant can be expanded to treat 10 mgd additional water.

Surface water, or river water, was the first alternative drinking water source to groundwater to be added to the Tampa Bay region’s wholesale water supply. Enhanced Surface Water System, which is designed to take advantage of 47-50 inches of rain that typically falls in the Tampa Bay region. The surface water system includes the Alafia River, Hillsborough Rive and Tampa Bypass Canal, and the pumps and pipes to connect them.

Map of Tampa Bay Water System Configuration

Click to enlarge map.

Expansion Details

The existing Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant is comprised of three main stages of treatment, including ACTIFLO®, ozone disinfection and biofiltration. A 10 mgd increase in the surface water treatment plant’s yield requires:

  • Adding piping and valves from the onsite storage tanks to the plant influent.
  • Expanding the plant’s patented ACTIFLO®, high-rate clarification process that removes color and particles from the raw water.
  • Adding another ozone contactor (ozone is the primary disinfectant at the plant and is one of the most powerful disinfectant in water treatment today).
  • Adding more biologically active filters to remove any remaining organic molecules.
  • Expanding secondary disinfection chemical systems and residuals processing.

Some of the surface water treatment plant’s components, including the finished water storage, pumping and pipeline, are sufficient for the expansion.

Next Steps

In 2019, Tampa Bay Water began feasibility studies and analysis for the Tampa Bay Water Surface Water Treatment Plant, including:

  • Discussions with Southwest Florida Water Management District regarding potential permit modifications.
  • Updating environmental analyses associated with additional withdrawal.
  • Conducting detailed capacity analysis of the existing facility and demonstration studies to confirm existing or re-rated capacities.
  • As a potential alternate, studying whether a new 10-20 mgd surface water treatment plant located at the regional reservoir is feasible.

Public Outreach

Tampa Bay Water conducted focus groups, public opinion surveys, telephone town halls and speakers bureau presentations to obtain input used in the Long-term Master Water Plan. Public outreach will continue for those projects selected for continued evaluation.

Long-term Master Water Plan

This project is one of three top-ranked projects under further evaluation to meet the region’s drinking water needs in the 2028 timeframe. The potential projects are the culmination of five years of analysis though Tampa Bay Water’s Long-term Master Water Plan. This 20-year framework for meeting the region’s future drinking water needs includes analyses of future demand, conservation potential, supply reliability, water shortage mitigation planning and hydrologic uncertainty along with potential water supply projects to ensure adequate drinking water in the future.