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Tampa Bay Water, formed in October 1998 through interlocal agreement between Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties, and the Cities of New Port Richey, St Petersburg and Tampa, is a wholesale drinking water utility with six member governments as customers.

The first mission of the new agency was to develop alternate sources of drinking water (surface and desalinated seawater) to the long-standing practice of reliance by many water utilities in the Tampa Bay region on groundwater. This mission was defined through a 1998 Partnership Agreement with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) wherein SWFWMD committed 183 million in grant funding in exchange for Tampa Bay Water's commitment to reduce groundwater production from 11 regional well fields from 190 MGD to 158 MGD in 1998, then to 121 MGD in 2003, and to 90 MGD in 2008. The ability to reduce groundwater production in these amounts was to be accomplished through Tampa Bay Water's commitment to system capacity expansions of at least 38 mgd by 2003 and at least 85 mgd (including the 2003 expansion of 38 mgd) by 2007.

System capacity is more than 300 MGD and system demand is approximately 175 MGD. The system has undergone significant expansion since 1998 (approximately doubling the utility infrastructure) and includes surface and seawater drinking water plants and large diameter potable transmission mains which were added to the pre existing groundwater system. Tampa Bay Water does not include retail distribution system infrastructure (local distribution mains, retail customer meters or service connections), operating or other support activities (customer accounts and servicing, etc) associated with retail service.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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