Southern Hillsborough County is experiencing unprecedented population growth that is driving the demand for additional drinking water. By 2045, the number of homes in the Boyette area is expected to grow by one-third, the number in Wimauma is expected to more than double, and the number in the Balm area is expected to nearly triple.
To meet the long-term water needs of this area, Tampa Bay Water is building a new South Hillsborough Pipeline that will carry up to 65 million gallons per day (mgd) of additional drinking water to the fast-growing southern Hillsborough service area. This new pipeline will connect Tampa Bay Water’s regional system to a new delivery point in Hillsborough County’s southern service area.
The South Hillsborough Pipeline will connect Tampa Bay Water’s regional system to a new Hillsborough County water treatment facility and will also provide a back-up connection to the Lithia Water Treatment Plant. The pipeline route shown is only representative of the connection between facilities and not the actual route. Route studies are underway and will be shared with the community in spring 2022.
The South Hillsborough Pipeline will be approximately 25 miles of large diameter transmission main comprising two segments: Pipeline A and Pipeline B. The pipeline will range in diameter from 36-72 inches.
Pipeline A will convey regional drinking water supplies from Tampa Bay Water’s regional system to Hillsborough County’s Lithia Water Treatment facility and offer redundancy to the regional system. Pipeline B will connect to Pipeline A and provide regional drinking water supplies to a new Hillsborough County water facility planned to be built near the intersection of Balm Road and Balm Riverview Road.
Tampa Bay Water’s engineering consultants are currently evaluating potential routes for segments A and B. Tampa Bay Water uses several criteria to identify and evaluate potential routes, including the length of the pipeline, cost, public inconvenience, safety, major road or waterway crossings, soil considerations, environmental impacts, long-range planning and more.
Tampa Bay Water will look at a variety of options for placing regional drinking water pipelines, including public rights-of-way, pipeline easements and parcels purchased from private property owners.
Public input will be sought once potential routes are determined.
Public input is important to the route selection process. Tampa Bay Water solicited input on the route evaluation criteria in 2019. That feedback was used in the preliminary route analysis. Tampa Bay Water will seek community input on potential routes in early 2022. That input will help inform Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors as they select a route in mid-2022.
Tampa Bay Water estimates the total cost for both pipeline segments is just over $300 million. Tampa Bay Water has received $4.5 million in co-funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for preliminary design of the two pipeline segments and will apply for additional funds in fiscal year 2023 and beyond.
Hillsborough County will pay for its half of Pipeline B, which is estimated to cost $66 million.
We will post progress updates on this web page, so check back periodically. We will also send residents direct mail at key points during the design phase. If you’d like to opt in to receive notices, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (813) 486-0361.