Environmental Protection

Tampa Electric to Use Reclaimed Water in the Future

Tampa Electric announced on March 31 that the company has signed a Reclaimed Water Supply Agreement with the city of Lakeland to cost-effectively supplement future water needs at the Polk Power Station.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) is also working with Tampa Electric on this public-private project that will use reclaimed water that is currently being discharged to the Alafia River.

The project consists of a reclaimed water pumping station and transmission pipeline of approximately 15 miles from Lakeland’s wetland treatment system, which is located east of Mulberry and north of State Road 60, to the Polk Power Station. The project also includes a water treatment system and a deep underground injection well system on power station property.

“We are pleased to partner with the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the city of Lakeland on this project. It is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that will benefit the environment and protect our water resources by utilizing an alternative wastewater source in a productive way,” said Chuck Black, Tampa Electric president.

“Lakeland’s participation in this regional reclaimed partnership provides long-term benefits to our customers,” said Tony Delgado, deputy city manager. “Our 20-year water use permit and the reduced dependence upon surface discharge for wastewater disposal provide both valuable system capacities and avoidance of future costs. This relationship with Tampa Electric was carefully evaluated over the last nine months with the City Commission unanimously endorsing the agreement at its March 16, 2009 meeting.”

Through a 30-year Reclaimed Water Supply Agreement, Lakeland will provide the Tampa Electric Polk Power Station with approximately 5 million gallons per day of reclaimed water. The project will:

  • Maximize the beneficial reuse of reclaimed water,
  • Reduce the amount of reclaimed water Lakeland is discharging into the Alafia River,
  • Ensure that the Polk Power Station site has a reliable water supply for potential future generation capacity additions, and
  • Reduce the amount of groundwater withdrawals at the Polk Power Station.

As part of a cooperative funding agreement, SFWMD will reimburse Tampa Electric up to 50 percent, or approximately $32.8 million, of the eligible project costs. Fifty percent of the SWFWMD funding will be provided by its Governing Board with the remaining 50 percent to be split equally among its Alafia River and Peace River Basin boards. The project has also received an additional $2.5 million from the state’s West-Central Florida Water Restoration Action Plan fund. Future funding is contingent upon board approval.

Tampa Electric will manage the project and will be responsible for its permitting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, repair and, once the project is constructed, Lakeland’s reclaimed water flows. Tampa Electric’s total investment in the project is estimated at $55 million over the next several years, after taking into consideration the approximately $33 million of SWFWMD co-funding. Lakeland will provide its reclaimed water to the project at no cost for the first 20 years of delivery, with the issue of compensation to be revisited in the 20th year.

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