Virtual Telephone Town Hall MeetingSeptember 14, 20236:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay area residents can participate in a virtual telephone townhall meeting Sept. 14, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss and provide input on the shortlist of project concepts being considered for further study to meet projected water demands in the 2033 timeframe. Please click below to sign up.
Planning for the future is an ongoing process at Tampa Bay Water. Our comprehensive Long-term Master Water Plan is updated every five years and includes:
This 20-year plan is a framework for meeting the region’s future drinking water needs in a sustainable, reliable and fiscally responsible manner. The most recent update, approved in November 2023, includes several projects that will be studied to meet the region's future needs.
Tampa Bay Water’s current supply is expected to meet the region’s water needs through 2028, with the expansion of the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant. The region is projected to need another 25 million gallon per day of new supply by 2043, with 10-20 million gallons of water per day needed as early as 2023. We are investigating potential new supplies now because it can take 10 years or more to investigate, design, permit, fund, build and startup a new water supply project.
Tampa Bay Water will study the feasibility of the approved projects over the next two years.
The estimated annual yields for each project concept are planning estimates and will be refined during feasibility studies.
A. Eastern Pasco Wellfield (multiple types of water source options)
This project would withdraw and treat brackish and/or fresh groundwater from a new wellfield and treatment plant in Pasco County. It would connect to the existing regional system at the Cypress Bridge Transmission Main.
Estimated annual yield: 9 mgd (3-19 mgd) Additional pipeline needed: 23.2 miles
B. Consolidated Water Use Permit Increase
This project would increase the permitted withdrawal quantity from Tampa Bay Water’s existing Consolidated Water Use Permit (CWUP) in a manner that maintains the environmental recovery achieved in the area. Connection to the regional system already exists.
Estimated annual yield: 10 mgd (5-20 mgd) Additional pipeline needed: none
C. North Pinellas Surface Water Treatment Plant & Reservoir
This project would harvest excess surface water from the Lake Tarpon outfall canal and other Lake Tarpon tributaries. The water would be sent to a new 800-million-gallon reservoir for seasonal storage and treatment at a new surface water treatment facility in north Pinellas County and would connect to the regional system near the northern end of the Keller Transmission Main.
Estimated annual yield: 4 mgd (3-9 mgd) Additional pipeline needed: 9.2 miles
D. Desalination Plant Expansion (multiple types of water source options)
This project would expand the existing Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant with either additional seawater or brackish groundwater. Seawater expansion feasibility studies were completed in 2021; the new feasibility study will focus on brackish water expansion, which involves constructing a new brackish water wellfield to supply water that would be blended with seawater and treated through the existing infrastructure. Connection to the regional system already exists.
Estimated annual yield: 11 mgd (6-11 mgd) Additional pipeline needed: 11.3 miles for brackish water; none for seawater
E. Surface Water Treatment Plant at C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir via Alafia withdrawals
This project would construct a new surface water treatment facility near the existing regional reservoir in southeast Hillsborough County to treat additional surface water supplied from increased Alafia River withdrawals.
Estimated annual yield: 6 mgd (2-9 mgd) Additional pipeline needed: 4.5 miles
F. South Hillsborough Surface Water Treatment Plant & Reservoir
This project involves constructing a new 700-million-gallon reservoir and a new surface water treatment plant in southeast Hillsborough County to store and treat water from the Little Manatee River and Bullfrog Creek. It would connect to the regional system at the southern end of the new South Hillsborough Pipeline.
Estimated annual yield: 4 mgd (1-16 mgd) Additional pipeline needed: 17.5 miles
G. South Hillsborough Wellfield via Aquifer Recharge
Tampa Bay Water completed a feasibility study for this project in 2021, which showed that this project is technically feasible, environmentally sound, and economical. This project involves building a new wellfield in southern Hillsborough County and withdrawing fresh groundwater using credits from Hillsborough County’s aquifer recharge system. It would connect to the regional system at the southern end of the new South Hillsborough Pipeline.
Estimated annual yield: 6 mgd (3-9 mgd) Additional pipeline needed: 2.0 miles
Fresh water from underground in the Floridan Aquifer can be withdrawn in an environmentally responsible manner to bolster supplies; 13 options are under consideration.
Eight options for withdrawing salty groundwater and cleaning it to drinking water standards through reverse osmosis are being evaluated.
Surface water is an important part of the region’s drinking water network; additional surface water can be safely harvested, stored and cleaned to meet the region’s needs; 82 options are being considered.
Seven options for desalting seawater are being evaluated; seawater from Tampa Bay is a current water supply source for the region.
Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been highly cleaned and recovered for useful purposes, such as lawn irrigation, power generation, wetland augmentation, dust control and more. Reclaimed water can be recycled for direct or indirect drinking water uses. For example, reclaimed water can be cleaned to drinking water standards then sent directly to homes and businesses for use. Or it can be used to augment an existing supply, like a river, where it is blended with the source water, withdrawn and cleaned to drinking water standards, then sent directly to homes and businesses for use; 43 reclaimed options are under consideration.
Eight concepts that do not fit into the source categories are also under evaluation. These concepts include interconnects with other utilities and converting large potable uses to alternative sources.
Tampa Bay Water’s consultant evaluated more than 120 concepts against coarse screening criteria. The top 50 projects from that screening were further evaluated in fine screening. The top 16 concepts went through a final screening process, which resulted in a shortlist of seven projects that will be presented to Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors in November 2023 for consideration for further feasibility studies.
Potential projects were evaluated using the following board-approved criteria:
Tampa Bay Water is also evaluating potential direct and indirect potable reuse projects for future consideration. Potable reuse uses reclaimed water for drinking water purposes, either directly or indirectly. Potable reuse is being studied as part of Tampa Bay Water’s developmental alternatives program, which runs concurrent with the feasibility studies. Developmental alternatives are projects that require longer feasibility studies, additional investigation or need time for regulations to be implemented.
During feasibility studies, Tampa Bay Water will refine potential yields, costs, permit ability, treatment requirements; engage the community and more. Those projects that are economically feasible, environmentally sustainable and reliable will be considered individually or as configurations of projects in the water supply selection process. In November, 2027, Tampa Bay Water will recommend to its board project configurations for design and construction to supply drinking water to the region in 2033.
For 25 years, Tampa Bay Water has been committed to a dynamic public outreach process to improve its projects and programs. By working cooperatively with our member governments, the business community and residents, we have been able to improve our service to the Tampa Bay community. The Long-Term Master Water Plan is no exception. Stakeholder input in the 2023 update is being used to shape feasibility studies and will continue as project work continues.
Tampa Bay Water held a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on September 14, 2023, to present the short list of potential new water supply projects to meet the region’s future drinking water needs. The slide deck and meeting summary are linked below.
If you would like to schedule a speaker for your community, business or civic group:
Surface Water Expansion
Seawater Desalination Plant Expansion
South Hillsborough Wellfield via Aquifer Recharge Credits
Optimization & Demand Management