An aerial view of the location where a proposed sewer system vacuum pump station will be built at the southern end of Gibsonton Elementary School along Nundy Ave.

Keeping up with the growing number of residents and businesses in Southern Hillsborough County is creating a need to improve the infrastructure that delivers drinking water to the area and processes wastewater.

To meet the increasing demand, the county has undertaken projects that are intended to improve water service.

One of them is a proposal to add about 11.5 miles to the existing potable water transmission main. The project is in the beginning stage with construction anticipated to begin this year and conclude in 2024.

It is expected to increase water pressure and help accommodate future growth in the area from the intersection of Big Bend Rd. and Balm Riverview Rd. going southwestward to the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 301 and SR 674.

The project will connect to the county’s Lithia Water Treatment Plant’s existing line west of Big Bend Rd.

Other benefits of the proposed project that the county said may be included are making repairs to roads and curbs, improving landscaping and adding fencing, among others.

A project to improve wastewater treatment in a part of Southern Hillsborough County where septic tanks are common is also in the works.

According to a news release, the county is planning on building a new vacuum sewer pump station on the grounds of Gibsonton Elementary School “to support the future development of improved county sewer infrastructure for area residents and businesses.”

In an online public engagement site that explained the proposal and solicited community input, one concern that emerged is the reliability of the technology under review.

“I would like to see some type of measures considered in the design that would compensate for a failure of the pump on the site,” wrote one person, who, like all commenters on the site, is anonymous.

The project is currently in the early planning stage with anticipation that the vacuum pump station will be completed by mid-2024. Final designing of the facility will begin once it is approved by the board of county commissioners.

You can find out more about infrastructure projects like these by visiting the Hillsborough County website at

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Avian-named publications have figured prominently in Brad Stager's career. Besides writing for the Osprey Observer, he started out writing sports articles for the Seahawk, a weekly newspaper serving the military community aboard Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. That position followed a career documenting life in the Fleet, from the Straits of Magellan to the North Arabian Sea, as a Navy Photographer's Mate. Since settling in the Tampa Bay area, Brad has produced a variety of written, visual and aural content for clients ranging from corporate broadcasters to small businesses.