Tech

Where Does Tampa Get Its Water?

The quality of Tampa’s water is considered “hard” because of its source. Water hardness is measured in parts per million (ppm), the number of minerals in the water. Florida receives nearly 90% of its drinking water from groundwater, which dispenses naturally occurring minerals. Because of the Hillsborough River, hardness levels vary. A hardness level of above 120 is considered “hard.” Therefore, constituents need to use water softeners Tampa.

Sources of drinking water

The Tampa Bay area is home to several freshwater sources. The largest, the Hillsborough River, is almost four hundred square miles in size and forms the coast of three counties. However, small tributaries are also present. Hillsborough River is the largest and most widely used of these, while the Alafia and Manatee rivers are the following largest water sources. Several rivers also feed into the Tampa Bay water system, which covers more than two thousand square miles and five counties.

The Hillsborough River is the primary source of drinking water in Tampa, and this water is filtered in a facility that uses advanced technology to remove dissolved organic carbon. This new treatment method removes these organics using new technology developed in the Netherlands. Tampa is planning a new water treatment plant to be operational in 2026 or 2027. It will treat 149 million gallons of water a day. The new treatment plant will not increase water rates, unlike the current system.

Treatment

Historically, the region’s drinking water has been drawn from groundwater, and a desalination plant provides the city with water that’s more than 25 million gallons per day. However, the water utility realized that groundwater is increasingly vulnerable to climate change, so it began blending river and seawater to produce softer, more drinkable water for its customers. As a result, the Tampa Bay Water utility currently blends water from three sources – groundwater, river water, and seawater – to meet its customers’ needs.

Tampa Bay Water gets its water primarily from the Hillsborough River, which travels about 50 miles southwest. Because of this, the water is tea-colored, and this color is a result of decomposing vegetation and other organic matter released by the swampy flatlands. To combat this problem, the Tampa Water Department has begun a new water treatment process that aims to remove organic carbon from the city’s water, which will reduce the use of toxic chemicals and prevent the city from experiencing health problems from drinking water.

Recovery

The question is: How does Tampa get its water? The Tampa Bay region’s water supply has been tumultuous for ten years. In 2005, a $300 million reuse project was proposed to pump treated wastewater into an underground aquifer. The city would use that water as drinking water. However, this project is now on hold as city officials work to restore water supplies to the Tampa Bay area. In the meantime, the city is trying to save money by reducing water consumption.

Water for the Tampa Bay region comes primarily from the Hillsborough River, which travels about 50 miles from the Green Swamp. The water is tea-colored because of the organic matter released from the flatlands and decomposing vegetation. The water then passes through screening equipment. The large debris is trapped on the screens and eventually removed for disposal. This process takes about a half-hour, but it is worth it for a clean, affordable water supply.

Plan to expand desalination plant

A plan to expand a desalination plant in Tampa, Florida, may face hurdles, but it has already overcome one. The private contractor, Poseidon, declared bankruptcy in May 2000, leaving Tampa Bay Water unable to complete the project on time. The company hired the ailing Covanta, a New Jersey energy giant, to finish the project. But the contractor could not finish the project on time and incurred cost overruns.

In 2006, the company was approved to expand its Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant. It is expected to produce 25 million gallons of drinking water a day. The plant was designed to provide a drought-proof water supply, and its expansion is possible. In addition, it is rated highly efficient, producing water for less than a penny a gallon and complying with Florida’s environmental regulations.

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