Hillsborough County and Tampa Bay Water hosted an open house meeting last month at the Newsome High School cafeteria, located at 16550 FishHawk Blvd., to educate residents in connection with a $35 million Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Facility and improvement project at the Lithia Water Treatment Plant.
According to Project Manager Suzanna Folsom of Tampa Bay Water, the new plant will improve water quality, for south-central Hillsborough County communities.
“Once the facilities are in operation, residents will receive water with improved quality, odor and taste,” Folsom said.
The largest portion of the improvements is the Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Facility, which will be built on an 18.6-acre parcel, just west of the Lithia plant located adjacent to Newsome High School.
The facility will use ozone to remove hydrogen sulfide and its characteristic rotten egg smell from groundwater supplied to the Lithia plant.
“The reason for the odor residents at times can smell in the water is because of the current removal process is not 100 percent,” Folsom said. “The new treatment facility will take care of this problem.”
Folsom explained that while Hillsborough County currently removes hydrogen sulfide using an aeration process, the existing facility is more than 20 years old and more effective and reliable treatment technologies are now available.
“This new hydrogen sulfide removal facility will remove odor and improve the quality and taste of water provided to Hillsborough County residents,” she said.
Construction, which, according to Tampa Bay Water officials, will have very little effect on the community is scheduled to begin in mid-2011 and will last about two years.
“Other than seeing some trucks going in and coming out of the facility, the project will not impact the community,” Folsom said.
To integrate the new ozone treatment process into daily operations, Hillsborough County will also be making modifications at the Lithia Water Treatment Plant, including reconfiguring chemical feed systems and related piping, upgrading chemical analyzers and controls and constructing a new segment for the pipeline, which brings water into the plant from Tampa Bay Water’s system.
According to Hillsborough County Water Resource Services Project Manager Albert Martini, this portion of the facility improvements will cost the county approximately $1.2 million.
The Hillsborough County Water Resource Division is one of three divisions under the county’s Public Utilities Department. A member of Tampa Bay Water, the utility provides an average of 44 million gallons of drinking water a day to 500,000 people in unincorporated Hillsborough County, and treats about 36 million gallons of wastewater a day.
Tampa Bay Water is Florida’s largest wholesale water provider. The agency provides wholesale drinking water to its member governments of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties and the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa.
More information on the Lithia Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Facility is available at www.tampabaywater.org.