OLDSMAR — The City Council has awarded a $761,000 contract to a Florida company to construct six water production well sites, two of them on Forest Lakes Boulevard.
Advanced Well Drilling is expected to start boring a couple of hundred feet into the ground in 45 to 60 days.
It is the latest step in Oldsmar's effort to build a $20 million water treatment plant. Officials hope to start construction next year on city-owned land on Commerce Boulevard.
Completion is expected in 2011.
The reverse osmosis facility will take brackish water, a mix of groundwater and saltwater, and eliminate the impurities by forcing it through membranes.
The project is being funded by a $9 million grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board, Penny for Pinellas money and the state revolving fund.
The city has been working on the project for at least seven years, hiring a lobbyist and forming a team to help get money.
City Manager Bruce Haddock said that although Oldsmar will no longer have to rely on Pinellas County for its 1.5 million gallons of water a day after the plant opens, it may keep an active agreement "as a backup.''
And by producing its own water, he said, the city "will reduce future rate increases.''
Eileen Schulte can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 445-4153.