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March 16, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District and Pasco County recently signed an agreement to work together on a project that will supply up to 5,500 additional residential customers with reclaimed water.

The Pasco County Wet Weather Reclaimed Water Reservoir – Boyette project involves constructing a reservoir on the old Boyette Mine property. This 140-acre parcel is located approximately one mile northeast of the Wesley Center Wastewater Treatment Facility. The reservoir will be built to store between 385 and 600 million gallons of reclaimed water from the county’s reclaimed water system.

Reclaimed water is wastewater that has received at least secondary treatment and is used for a beneficial purpose, such as irrigation. By offsetting demand for ground water and surface water, this alternative, non-traditional water source reduces stress on environmental systems, provides economic benefits by delaying costly water system expansions, and eliminates the need to discharge wastewater effluent to surface waters.

This is the second project in Pasco County’s overall plan to store and reuse wet-weather reclaimed water flows. The first project is the reservoir being built at the Land O’ Lakes wastewater treatment facility.

This project involves the design, permitting and construction of the reservoir. The construction phase of this project is scheduled to begin in May 2008 and is expected to be complete within a year. This project is expected to provide an average of 3.3 million gallons of water per day (mgd), which will offset approximately 1.65 mgd of potable water per day.

Because this project is part of a regional effort to increase the use of reclaimed water, the $20.19 million project will receive funding from the District’s Coastal Rivers, Hillsborough River and Pinellas-Anclote River basin boards and the District’s Governing Board. The basin boards have each budgeted $500,000, while the Governing Board has budgeted $1.5 million and Pasco County plans to spend approximately $3 million in fiscal year 2007. Funding for future fiscal years is contingent upon basin board approval. This project is also eligible to receive Water Protection and Sustainability Trust Funds.

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