The Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant is the drought-proof component of Tampa Bay Water’s diverse, interconnected system and has provided more than 26 billion gallons of clean, safe drinking water to the Tampa Bay region since it went online in 2007. Co-located with Tampa Electric’s (TECO) Big Bend Power Plant in Apollo Beach, the desalination plant can meet up to 10% of the Tampa Bay region’s water needs annually.
The desalination plant uses TECO’s cooling water tunnels for its water intake and discharge. The tunnels provide the desalination plant’s seawater supply in addition to diluting the concentrated seawater leftover from the desalination process. TECO is retiring two of its four cooling water tunnels in an effort to modernize its facility and minimize the use of coal for electricity production; however, these modifications impair desalination operations unless Tampa Bay Water also makes modifications.
The Tampa Bay Desalination Facility Intake Connection Improvements-Phase 2 is the second of two construction projects to provide an additional seawater intake for the desalination facility.
Tampa Bay Water completed Phase 1 in 2021, creating a new connection to TECO’s cooling water Tunnel 1 and installing an isolation valve. For Phase 2, Tampa Bay Water will construct a new pump station and a 54-inch above-ground pipeline connecting Phase 1 to the existing seawater intake facility.
This project will provide additional seawater intake for the desalination facility, restoring a reliable supply of seawater to the plant.
Total cost for design and construction is $22.5 million.
The Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant is located in Apollo Beach at the TECO Big Bend Power Plant.
This project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2024.
This project has no public impact as all work is contained within Tampa Bay Water easements at the TECO Big Bend Power Plant.