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Costs force changes in wastewater plans

BROOKSVILLE — The County Commission on Tuesday approved changes to the utility capital improvement plan that eventually will close the troublesome Spring Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant as well as the smaller Berkeley Manor plant.

Wastewater now routed to the Spring Hill plant would be piped to the airport wastewater plant, which will be expanded. Wastewater from Berkeley Manor would go instead to the Glen Subregional Wastewater Treatment Plant on Hexam Road, also slated for expansion.

Those changes should make the operations more efficient by centralizing, said county utility director Joseph Stapf. In addition, it would improve the county's ability to provide water for reuse projects and would better position the county for state grants.

County utility staff started working on the idea months ago when they learned that the cost of planned improvements and renovations for the Spring Hill plant had risen from an estimated $10-million to $24-million. Stapf cited the rising costs of copper, steel, cement and fuel.

The three-year plan starts with the first phase of a 15-mile force main connecting the Spring Hill plant to the airport plant. The leg, from U.S. 19 to Cobblestone Drive, should happen quickly because the Florida Department of Transportation will soon seek bids on the widening project of that stretch of highway and utility work will take place along with the road work.

Next will be the rerouting from the 750,000 gallon-per-day Berkeley Manor plant to the Glen plant, which will be expanded from 1-million gallons per day to 2-million gallons per day.

Later, a pumping station will be built at the Spring Hill treatment plant site, and the airport plant will expand to handle 5-million gallons per day.

Stapf said the old plan would have cost about $44-million, while the new plan will be $25-million, plus $14-million in construction costs. That would mean an estimated savings of $5-million over the old plan.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352)

848-1434.

Costs force changes in wastewater plans 02/27/08 [Last modified: Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:38am]
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