Source Water Protection | Tampa Bay Water

Clean, safe drinking water doesn’t start at the tap — it starts at the source.

Because our region depends on surface and groundwater for most of our water supply, it is important to safeguard those sources from pollution and contamination.

Surface water, which makes up nearly half of our water supply, is present above the ground and includes lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, seas and oceans. Groundwater is below the ground and includes underground aquifers.

Tampa Bay Water is dedicated to protecting the quality of the public’s source water. Doing so ensures the protection of public health, the environment and the public’s investment. It also ensures clean, safe water sources for future generations.

Some of our chief source water protection efforts include:

Public Information and Education

  • Funding for the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL)
  • Development of information materials related to source water protection

Land Acquisition Programs

  • Provided land for a regional stormwater project in Brandon facilities site property

Protective Policies and Regulations

  • Participated in the development of Pasco and Hillsborough County Protection Ordinances
  • Reviewed and provided recommendations on 300 development proposals since 2007 (Rezoning, Mining permits, DRIs)

Best Management Practices

  • Helped fund a recent University of Florida low impact development workshop

Local Watershed Protection Actions

  • Spend over $2 million per year on environmental monitoring programs

Properly Dispose of Household Chemicals and Hazardous Waste

The safest way to dispose of household chemicals and hazardous waste such as paint, motor oil, fertilizer and pesticides is to take them to your local county recycling center. This prevents the chemicals from making their way into our water supplies.

Local County Recycling Centers

Properly Dispose of Medication

The safest way to dispose of old medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, is to take them to a local take-back location. This prevents the medicine from falling into the wrong hands and helps keep the hormones and chemicals they contain from seeping into the sources of our drinking water. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs thrown in the trash, poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet can end up in landfills, pass through wastewater treatment systems and end up in rivers, Tampa Bay or the Floridan aquifer, which serve as the sources of our drinking water supplies. All County Sheriff’s Departments in Tampa Bay Water’s service area have permanent, secure drop-off locations for unneeded or unwanted medications.

Local Medication Drop-Off Locations