Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Thirsty lawns could get boost from Tampa's reclaimed water

TAMPA — City officials are asking contractors and landscapers to distribute recycled wastewater throughout Tampa.

With the state's toughest lawn-watering rules taking effect next week, giving away the reclaimed water could help keep some lawns green.

"We're hoping a lot of people will be saying, 'I have a business, I have a truck, and I'd be interesting in providing this service,' " Brad Baird, director of Tampa's water department, said Tuesday.

Contractors often haul reclaimed water to control dust on construction sites or establish new lawns. It typically costs about $3 to fill a 2,000-gallon truck, Baird said.

Contractors can get the highly treated wastewater for free from the city and sell it for whatever price they'd like, Baird said.

Joe Williams, president of Kimmins Contracting, said he would be willing to provide the service to big water customers or his own clients.

"The last time they took the watering restrictions down to nothing, we did that for our customers," he said. "We won't do it for anybody who calls and says, 'I want you to bring the water to my house.' "

At least half of the 80 million gallons of water used daily in Tampa ends up on lawns.

With rainfall spotty, demand for water high and the height of the dry season approaching, the City Council last week approved the region's most stringent watering restrictions, voting to ban sprinkler use on turf from April 3. That means lawns can be watered only by hand or micro-irrigation.

Customers connected to Tampa's reclaimed water lines face no watering restrictions. But the lines reach fewer than 9,000 of Tampa's 140,000 water customers, and only 3,100 have connected to the system.

Mayor Dick Greco launched the reclaimed water program, which has been plagued with problems including construction mishaps, leaks and clogs.

With few customers, it became a financial drain on the city, and Mayor Pam Iorio ditched expansion plans. She turned her focus to getting the water to big commercial and industrial users, such as Raymond James Stadium and International Plaza.

Last year, the city signed an agreement with the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority to take reclaimed water to Tampa International Airport. Construction of those pipes should begin this summer.

Janet Zink can be reached jzink@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3401.

Thirsty lawns could get boost from Tampa's reclaimed water 03/24/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 6:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man turns himself in for Sunday hit and run fatality

    Public Safety

    A Tampa man was arrested early Sunday after he struck and killed a pedestrian, left the scene, and then called 911 to turn himself in.

  2. Tom Jones' Two Cents: Bucs, Jaguars both get blame for terrible preseason ratings

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst of a weekend in televised sports.

    Worst matchup

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) tries to get past Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Brian Dixon (41) and safety Barry Church (42) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) JVS119
  3. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  4. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change

    National

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  5. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.