By Tamas Mondovics

After a lengthy process that tested their resilience, residents in Surrey Park Villas, a highly desirable section of Covington Park in Apollo Beach, are pleased to begin saving money, while using reclaimed water to irrigate their yards.

The project, which began nearly three years ago, was spearheaded by board members of the Surrey Park Villas, Home Owners Association, specifically HOA President Bill Irwin and construction manager, Mike Provencher.

“We had to come together and to figure out if it would be feasible to get involved with the process and push the project forward,” Irwin said. “I wasn’t sure if it would work not to mention hearing about other communities who have decided against similar projects due to some of the logistics and challenges they were facing.”

Looking back, Irwin is glad he and the Surrey Park community of 170 villa residents went on with the project that is now complete and meeting their irrigation needs.

One of the obstacles that Surrey Park residents faced was the cost and amount of work involved with running new pipes in front of each home.

Irwin explained that after further research and consideration along with great cooperation on the part of members of the community, a decision was made to run all the new pipes through the backyards of each home.

While Surrey Park residents were able to overcome the logistics of the project, HOA board members agreed that the biggest headache in all their efforts was getting all the necessary paperwork and permitting done, while dealing with Hillsborough County. The rest they said was pretty easy as construction itself took about a year at a cost of less than cost $300,000.

Irwin added that at the end of the credited time, the cost of the project will balance out with the cost effectiveness of using reclaimed water.

“We are happy with how things worked out for us,” Irwin said. The community showed great support and set an example that such projects, although challenging, are not impossible to accomplish.

For more information or questions about the project, email Irwin at

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