CFWI Projects Taking Shape Throughout the Region

Drilling more than half a mile below ground to find new sources of water in the Lower Florida aquifer (LFA).

Finding new ways to reuse reclaimed water.

Combining stormwater and reclaimed water to build a sustainable supply.

These are some of the innovative projects the Central Florida Water Initiative is developing to meet the growing water needs of the five-county Central Florida region while also protecting the region’s water resources. Water experts project the region will need an additional 300 million gallons of water per day by 2035. Only about 50 mgd will be available from traditional sources without harming the water and related natural resources like wetlands and lakes. 


“We have to be creative and collaborative if we want to ensure that our citizens have the water they need and that our natural resources, which define our quality of life, are protected,” said Brian Armstrong, Southwest Florida Water Management District executive director.

“By working together on alternative water supply projects that benefit the CFWI region we help extend our future water supply,” said St. Johns River Water Management Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “It’s through this type of collaboration we can ensure residents and our natural resources have the water needed to thrive in the years to come.”

“It is very encouraging to see this region’s water supply planning now being implemented in projects underway and on the horizon,” said Dan O’Keefe, South Florida Water Management District Governing Board chairman.

Hers’s a look at four unique regional water supply projects breaking new ground throughout the region:

OSCEOLA COUNTY – Cypress Lake Wellfield Project

The Cypress Lakes Wellfield is a collaborative effort between the members of the Water Cooperative of Central Florida (WCCF, composed of the Tohopekaliga Water Authority, Orange County Utilities, Polk County Utilities, and the City of St. Cloud) and Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID).

This proposed project will develop a nontraditional LFA groundwater wellfield in central Osceola County. The project includes the construction of a new water treatment plant, wellfield and raw water transmission systems, concentrate disposal well(s), and the construction of the distribution water mains to convey water among the WCCF partners.

The project has been identified as having a 15 mgd and 30 mgd finished water construction phases. The project has been permitted and is in design. Final design is anticipated to begin in 2020 with construction in 2022.

POLK COUNTY – Southeast Polk County Wellfield Project

The Southeast Polk County Wellfield project includes the construction of a new water treatment plant and associated infrastructure. This project is a collaborative effort among Polk County Utilities and municipalities within Polk County.

The proposed project will develop a nontraditional Lower Floridan aquifer (LFA) water public supply wellfield in southeast Polk County. The project includes the construction of a new water treatment plant, wellfield and raw water transmission systems, concentrate disposal well(s), the construction of distribution water mains to the project partners, and internal system upgrades by individual project partners.

The project is proposed to be built in three phases, with 10 mgd, 20 mgd, and 30 mgd finished water construction phases. The project partners will take the water from this wellfield project to meet their demands. This water will be used in lieu of additional future withdrawals from the traditional supply source. The project has been permitted and design will begin in 2017.

POLK COUNTY – Tampa Electric Company (TECO) Polk Power Reuse

This award-winning reclaimed water supply project within the SWFWMD portion of Polk County supplies 10 mgd of reclaimed water from three different wastewater treatment facilities to the TECO Polk Power Generation Facility.

The Edison Electric Institute, a electric industry trade association, honored Tampa Electric with a National Award for the innovative partnership project (Power industry’s most prestigious award). The Florida Engineering Society named it as the Engineering Project of the Century in 2016.

The project included the design, permitting, construction and/or purchasing of a reclaimed water pump station at the Lakeland Wetland Treatment System, a pump station at the Mulberry Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), a storage tank at the TECO Polk Power Station, an advanced membrane reclaimed water treatment system at the TECO Polk Power Station, a membrane concentrate deep disposal well at the TECO Polk Power Station, transmission mains from the Lakeland Wetland Treatment System to the TECO Polk Power Station, transmission lines from Polk Southwest WWTP and Mulberry WWTP to the transmission main line and other necessary equipment to supply available reclaimed water flows from Lakeland, Mulberry, and Polk Southwest WWTPs to the TECO Polk Power Station.

The reclaimed water supply project provides an estimated 10 mgd of reclaimed water and will enable the future supply of ultimately up to 17 mgd of reclaimed water. The project is substantially complete.

ORANGE COUNTY – Altamonte Springs/FDOT Integrated Reuse Stormwater Treatment

This project constructed an integrated stormwater reuse and reclaimed water system. The facilities include a pipeline for the delivery of excess stormwater and reclaimed water to the City of Apopka’s Water Reclamation Facility; a stormwater treatment plant; and a conveyance system to move stormwater from Cranes Roost to the stormwater treatment plant.

The intent of the project is for the recipient to augment the existing reclaimed water system with treated stormwater from Cranes Roost and I-4 and pump any excess reclaimed water through a new transmission pipeline to the City of Apopka. Excess reclaimed water will occur primarily in wet weather conditions. Apopka will use excess reclaimed water to augment its reuse system and/or to provide recharge to the Floridan aquifer. This project is complete.

Through the CFWI, three water management districts — the St. Johns River, South Florida, and Southwest Florida— are working collaboratively with other agencies and stakeholders to implement effective water resource planning, including water resource and supply development and management strategies to protect, conserve and restore our water resources. The CFWI encompasses five counties: Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole.

To date, the work of the CFWI has been captured in a series of documents which provides information to further develop specific regional water supply projects through partnerships with water users including potential sources, cost estimates, feasibility and permittability analysis, and any potential prevention or recovery needs. To learn more please visit