February 26, 2008

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Tuesday approved a modification to the water use permit (WUP) for Marion County Utilities.

The modification to the existing water use permit increases quantities for public supply to an interconnected service area along State Road 200, Dunnellon Airport and JB Ranch. The new permit is for an annual average quantity of 3,774,000 gallons per day (gpd), which is an increase of 454,925 gpd or 13.7 percent.

The addition of JB Ranch is expected to decrease overall gross per capita water use from 172 gallons per person per day to 166 gallons per person per day, or about 3.5 percent. However, the overall permitted quantity is increasing due to projected population growth in the JB Ranch development.

The modified permit contains special conditions that include requirements for monthly recording and reporting of pumpage, water quality sampling, distribution flexibility, water-conserving rate structure, adherence to water conservation plan, irrigation conservation, an annual reuse report, annual conservation report, annual water audits, and the capping of wells not in use.

As part of the permit, the county must also investigate the feasibility of using reclaimed water and submit a report to the District containing an analysis of reclaimed water sources for the area, including the relative location of these sources to County property, the quality of reclaimed water available, projected dates of availability, costs associated with obtaining the reclaimed water, and an implementation schedule for reuse, if feasible.

The 4,723-acre service area is in Marion County, with dispersed wells along State Route 200 approximately 10 miles southwest of Ocala.

The permit expires May 25, 2010.

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