Full Operation of Desalination Plant a Reason to Celebrate

Tampa Bay Water ribbon-cuttingRepresentatives from the District and Tampa Bay Water celebrate the beginning of full operations at the Tampa Bay Water desalination plant. Susan Latvala, Pinellas County commissioner and Tampa Bay Water chair, thanked Judy Whitehead (right), Governing Board chair, for the financial support the District contributed to the desalination plant.

Representatives from the District joined Tampa Bay Water, American Water, Acciona Agua and Tampa Electric at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the beginning of full operations at Tampa Bay Water’s desalination plant.

At 25 million gallons per day (mgd), the desalination plant provides about 10 percent of the Tampa Bay region’s drinking water supply. The plant is designed to produce 25 mgd and can accommodate an expansion to produce up to 35 mgd in the future, making it the largest reverse osmosis (RO) seawater desalination facility in North America.

Under the Partnership Agreement, the District will reimburse Tampa Bay Water $85 million of the plant’s eligible capital costs in installments over the next 18 months. The Partnership Agreement earmarks locally collected ad valorem taxes to offset the cost of alternative water supply development.

The facility is located on 8.5 acres of Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach on Tampa Bay. It is operated by American Water and Acciona Agua through their joint venture subsidiary American Water-Pridesa.