Hillsborough County water customers in south-central Hillsborough are now receiving higher quality water with improved taste thanks to a new hydrogen sulfide removal facility at the Lithia Water Treatment Plant.
The new hydrogen sulfide removal facility, located just west of the Lithia Water Treatment Plant site, uses ozone to remove hydrogen sulfide and its characteristic rotten egg smell from groundwater supplied to the plant.
To integrate the new ozone treatment process into daily operations, Hillsborough County made modifications at the Lithia Water Treatment Plant. Those modifications included reconfiguring chemical feed systems and related piping; upgrading chemical analyzers and controls; and constructing a new segment for the pipeline which brings water into the plant from Tampa Bay Water’s system.
Water customers in south-central Hillsborough communities, such as Brandon, Apollo Beach, Riverview, Ruskin and Sun City Center, began receiving water treated with ozone in early July. Ozone is a safe, affordable and efficient method used to disinfect water and improve taste and odor in treatment plants all over the world.
With the start-up and testing of the new facility and plant improvements, the County’s 20-year-old hydrogen sulfide removal process is being retired, and with it, the occasional sulfur smell that emanates from the old facility.
Construction of the new hydrogen sulfide removal facility and plant improvements began in late 2011 and were completed in late spring 2013. Tampa Bay Water’s contractor will continue testing the ozone facility at varying capacities through the summer and turn the facility over to Tampa Bay Water sometime in September.
Construction and property acquisition for Tampa Bay Water’s facility cost approximately $34.7 million and is being funded through construction bonds and Tampa Bay Water’s wholesale water rate.