Northwest Hillsborough Pipeline Begins Operation

Regionalization and Greater Use of Alternative Water Supplies Will Result

Workers installing pipelineWorkers install a new two-mile long pipeline in the Citrus Park area.

More widespread use of alternative water supplies and a more robust drinking water supply system are in place thanks to a partnership between the District and Tampa Bay Water.

The Northwest Hillsborough Pipeline, a two-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline, now brings up to 15 million gallons per day of water from Tampa Bay Water’s regional system to Hillsborough County’s Northwest Hillsborough Potable Water Treatment Facility. The District provided $3.7 million of the pipeline’s $8.46 million cost.

The northwest Hillsborough water treatment facility used to be supplied solely by Tampa Bay Water’s Northwest Hillsborough Regional Wellfield. With the new pipeline, Hillsborough County now has additional drinking water capacity to supply the region and a much-needed backup water supply.

“One of the main beneficiaries of this project is the environment,” said Rick Menzies, project supervisor with Tampa Bay Water. “With alternative water supplies serving the area, the Northwest Hillsborough Regional Wellfield can be periodically rested. And with more than one supply option, area residents have a more reliable water supply.”

The pipeline delivers a blend of surface water, desalinated seawater and groundwater supplies to the area. The project also included new connections at Hillsborough County’s Northwest facility and the City of St. Petersburg’s Cosme Water Treatment Plant, so water from those facilities can be delivered to Tampa Bay Water’s regional pipeline during emergencies.

The pipeline is the final piece of the Tampa Bay Water System Configuration II project, which allows the regional utility to withdraw and treat additional water during periods of higher flows from the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bypass Canal.

A number of regional system components were expanded as part of overall System Configuration II project, including the surface water treatment plant and the Tampa Bypass Canal pump station. These improvements will also increase the use of the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir. The system will develop a total of 25 million gallons of water per day of additional alternative water supply. The District funded $105 million of the overall project’s $247.7 million cost.

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