March 29, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District and the City of North Port are working together on two projects that will help reduce demand and conserve water.

North Port Water Conservation and Retrofit Program
The North Port Water Conservation and Retrofit Program will offer financial incentives to residents who retrofit their homes with water efficient fixtures such as low-flow toilets, low-flow showerheads and rain sensors. Residents who install a low-flow toilet will receive a $100 credit once the toilet has been installed and inspected. Residents who install a rain sensor will receive a $50 rebate. As part of the program, participating homeowners will receive low-flow showerheads free of charge.

This ongoing program is expected to cost $117,000. As part of the agreement, North Port will receive up to $58,500 in financial assistance from the District’s Manasota Basin Board this year.

North Port residents interested in participating in the water conservation and retrofit program may contact the City of North Port Program Administrator at 888-843-9832.

North Port Reuse Master Plan
Another program, the North Port Reuse Master Plan, involves analyzing the city’s irrigation needs and outlining a plan to use existing and future reclaimed water to offset existing and future potable water supplies.

The city currently operates a 3.7-million-gallons-per-day (mgd) wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) that reuses a portion of the water for public irrigation. Due to a large amount of growth in the area, the WWTF will be expanded to 7 mgd and two additional WWTFs will also be built within the next five years. The additional WWTFs will also be designed to provide reuse water to the public.

The master reuse plan will map out how the city will interconnect all three WWTFs to provide a more reliable source of reclaimed water; determine the best opportunities to offset groundwater; identify potential reuse users and determine the quantity available; determine the best means of wet weather storage; and determine costs to complete these projects and evaluate other alterative water sources.

It is expected to cost $95,000 to complete the plan. The District’s Manasota Basin Board and the city will each provide half of the funding for the plan.

The plan is expected to be completed this October.

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