By Brad Stager
As housing and commercial development projects take shape in previously remote areas of Southern Hillsborough County, some residents and business owners in the area are experiencing reduced or fluctuating water pressure, but relief for their faucet frustration is in the works with the construction of a new potable drinking water booster pump station.
The $12 million project will be constructed on two adjacent vacant parcels of land located at 13004 Gordon Rd., northeast of the intersection of Balm Riverview Rd. and Big Bend Rd. and opposite Summerfield Elementary School, in Riverview.
The booster pumps will be housed within a 5,000-square-foot enclosure and are expected to provide residential and commercial properties in the service area more reliable water pressure for household use and fire safety.
The pump station will be located south of the Lithia water treatment plant and is to be connected to the existing main drinking water pipeline on Big Bend Rd.. It will increase the water pressure for customers in SouthShore communities west of the pump station, including Apollo Beach, Ruskin and Sun City Center.
According to Hillsborough County officials, if the pump station is not built, the problem of unreliable water pressure will become worse and affect a greater number of customers as the area becomes more populated and increased strain is put on the existing distribution system.
“Before this rapid development, the existing pipeline was adequate to meet the customer load,” said Project Manager Brad Warholak. “This project will definitely do a good job of getting that reliability up in the area.”
As the term implies, a booster pump counteracts the effects that greater customer demand and distance from the Lithia water treatment plant have on providing service by increasing water pressure.
The county plans for the pump station structure to be insulated to control noise, and because drinking water is being pumped, no odors are expected to be produced. A 6-foot privacy fence and trees will be part of the landscaping.
The county anticipates beginning the final design and public engagement process by the first part of 2021, with construction commencing shortly after and completion expected in early 2022.