Board Approves New South Hillsborough Pipeline
On Sept. 19, 2022, Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors selected a route segment for part of the new South Hillsborough Pipeline to meet the region’s water needs in 2028.
At the request of Hillsborough County, Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors selected the “blue” route for Segment A of the new South Hillsborough Pipeline. Segment A is approximately 18 miles long and connects Tampa Bay Water’s regional water treatment plant in Brandon to Hillsborough County’s Lithia Water Treatment Plant.
The new South Hillsborough Pipeline will be up to 72 inches in diameter and will carry up to an additional 65 million gallons per day (mgd) of water to Hillsborough County’s southern service area when complete in 2028. The pipeline will offer redundancy between the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant in Brandon and Hillsborough County’s Lithia Water Treatment Plant.
Tampa Bay Water’s engineering consultants analyzed a total of 10 routes (five northern segments and five southern segments), which resulted in a shortlist of three top-ranked consolidated routes. The routes were evaluated against 11 selection criteria, which included non-cost factors such as public inconvenience, safety, environmental impacts, and permitting, as well as project cost.
The next project phase will be for Tampa Bay Water’s consulting engineers to complete the detailed design for the pipeline. Tampa Bay Water has received $4.5 million in co-funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for preliminary design and will apply for additional funds in the fiscal year 2023 and beyond.
The blue route exits the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant site at Woodberry Road and heads east past Providence Road to Limona Road, where it heads south. At Victoria Street, the route turns east, then turns south at North Moon Avenue. The route then turns east at Robertson Street West and continues south on Parsons Avenue, past Lumsden Road, and continues south on John Moore Road turning west on Ronele Drive and then south at South Kings Avenue. The route goes south on Alafia Ridge Loop, then south on Alafia Ridge Road to south on McMullen Road. At Boyette Road, the route goes east, continuing to Fish Hawk Boulevard to the Lithia Water Treatment Plant.
There are portions of this route where trenchless construction techniques (such as micro tunneling) are intended to be used to reduce or avoid impacts to environmentally sensitive areas. Final design will include an in-depth evaluation of protected species (flora and fauna) to determine if these are located within the proposed construction limits and if necessary, how to mitigate impacts.
Southern Hillsborough County is experiencing unprecedented population growth that is driving the demand for additional drinking water. By 2045, the number of homes in the Boyette area is expected to grow by one-third, the number in Wimauma is expected to more than double, and the number in the Balm area is expected to nearly triple.
To meet the long-term water needs of this area, Tampa Bay Water is building a new South Hillsborough Pipeline that will carry up to 65 million gallons per day (mgd) of additional drinking water to the fast-growing southern Hillsborough service area. This new pipeline will connect Tampa Bay Water’s regional system to a new delivery point in Hillsborough County’s southern service area. It will also provide a backup supply to the County’s Lithia Water Treatment Plant in the event the existing pipeline requires service.
- Public input on potential routes: Summer 2022
- Board selection of route: Sept. 19, 2022
- Final design complete: Mid-2024
- Property acquisition complete: Late 2024
- Construction bidding: Late 2024
- Construction complete: Early 2028
Tampa Bay Water’s consulting engineers will complete the detailed design for the pipeline to determine an estimated cost. Tampa Bay Water has received $4.5 million in co-funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for preliminary design and will apply for additional funds in the fiscal year 2023 and beyond.
Tampa Bay Water began public engagement for the South Hillsborough Pipeline in 2019 when the utility began studying possible corridors for the new large-diameter transmission main. Initial public input was collected on evaluation criteria used to rank potential routes.
Survey respondents’ most important evaluation criteria were:
- Public Inconvenience – the top-ranked criterion by nearly 50 percent of respondents
- Environment Impacts/Wetland Mitigation – ranked second by 45 percent of respondents
- Cost – ranked third by 40 percent of respondents
Routes were presented to the community in the summer of 2022 and additional feedback was collected prior to finalizing a route ranking.
From June 14, 2022, through July 8, 2022, Tampa Bay Water conducted an online survey to ask residents about the top three potential pipeline routes.
The project team also held several community meetings with homeowners associations and a live Telephone Town Hall with Hillsborough County residents on July 12, 2022.
For More Information
Tampa Bay Water provides wholesale water to the public utility systems of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, as well as the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. You may opt-in to receive notices by sending an email to email@example.com or by calling (813) 486-0361.