If a water treatment plant is built on the south county site, it will be similar to the Lithia drinking water facility located in the FishHawk area.

By Brad Stager

A project to ensure that the growing number of residents and businesses in Southern Hillsborough County have a steady flow of drinking water is in the works.

In October, the Board of County Commissioners approved the purchase of about 331 acres located between Balm Riverview Rd. and Balm Boyette Rd., south of the Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve, where officials plan to build either a drinking water treatment plant or drinking water transmission station.

The project is part of a larger effort to improve the quality of service in providing drinking water to Southern Hillsborough County customers.

Drinking water transmission pipes in the south county urban service area are being upgraded and a $12 million booster pump station will be constructed northeast of the intersection of Balm Riverview Rd. and Big Bend Rd. and opposite of Summerfield Elementary School in Riverview.

The proposed facility is designated as a county capital improvement project (CIP). These projects address the need to improve, expand or maintain vital infrastructure such as roads, buildings and utilities. Jason Parrillo is the CIP section manager for Hillsborough County’s water department. He said the increased growth in Southern Hillsborough County is driving the need for improving water services and that the proposed facility will help.

“Any drinking water facility constructed, whether it’s a treatment plant or a transmission facility, in the south county service area will benefit Hillsborough County residents two ways,” he said. “One, it will maintain a level of service and complement existing ongoing infrastructure projects by the department, and two, it will provide sustainability for future growth in the south county service area.”

The county does not expect to start building the proposed facility until 2026, but until then, the site’s landscaping will be improved to create a 500-foot-wide natural terrain buffer that will include pine trees to keep facility structures out of view from neighboring properties.

According to the county’s online information about the project, construction will take about two years to complete and the site may eventually include recreational features such as trails.

You can stay informed about this and other Hillsborough County infrastructure projects by visiting hillsboroughcounty.org.