Tampa Bay Water is seeking to temporarily increase the permitted annual average limit for the South-Central Hillsborough Regional Wellfield by 850,000 gallons per day (mgd) to help meet the increasing drinking water demands of southern Hillsborough County. The proposed increase is based on an updated groundwater model analysis that shows the annual average permit quantity can be increased to 24.95 mgd without causing environmental impacts while still meeting regulatory requirements from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Tampa Bay Water delivers regional water to three Hillsborough County points of connection at two locations. Tampa Bay Water and Hillsborough County are working on system improvements to bring more water to residents. Until these projects are completed, the increased water demands from the southern Hillsborough service area must be met from the South-Central Hillsborough Regional Wellfield.
“Hot, dry conditions and growing demand in the service area have increased the pumping rate each month and as of December 2021, Tampa Bay Water exceeded the annual average permitted amount for this wellfield,” said Warren Hogg, interim chief science and technical officer.
Tampa Bay Water is proposing the increased limit with two conditions: (1) that the utility will perform wetland monitoring, working with property owner Mosaic to monitor the area, and (2) the permitted annual average quantity reverts back to the original 24.1 mgd limit when the new South Hillsborough Pipeline is in service.
In the meantime, Tampa Bay Water and Hillsborough County are asking residents to Water Smarter by knowing your watering day. During dry times, up to 50 percent of water used at home is for outdoor watering. Additionally, we are making system improvements in the short-term by replacing a control valve that will allow us to deliver more regional water to Hillsborough County’s Lithia treatment plant from our regional system; and we are installing temporary pumps at the Brandon Booster Station site to further increase the amount of regional water we can deliver to the area as early as this summer, well before the permanent booster station is complete.