BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County commissioners are poised to move forward today with one of the largest utility projects in recent memory, the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.
Commissioners will be asked to approve a $24.6 million contract with Garney Companies that will more than double the capacity of the plant and allow the county to shut down the troublesome, smelly wastewater plant on Osowaw Boulevard in Spring Hill.
The expansion has been on the drawing board for several years.
Currently, the plant has a capacity of 1 million gallons a day and treats about 750,000 gallons. That is the point at which state environmental regulators require expansion plans. When Phase 1 of the construction is complete, the plant will be able to handle 2.5 million gallons per day. In the future, when growth dictates the need, the plant can be expanded by another 2.5 million gallons, said Susan Goebel-Canning, the county's environmental services director.
Construction on Phase 1 is expected to be completed by late 2016.
Construction on the pipes that will run from the west side of the county to the airport, down County Line Road, will take about a year to construct, and that project can get under way after the plant expansion has begun, Goebel-Canning explained. Once completed, the majority of the wastewater flow will be routed to the airport plant, with some going to the other west-side plant known as the Glen plant, and the Osowaw plant can be taken off-line.
Neighbors of that plant have complained for years about the odor there.
Several other recommendations related to the plant expansion are also on today's commission agenda. Those include approving a contract for nearly $40,000 with Professional Service Industries for geotechnical engineering for the plant and a contract for $1.3 million with Cardno TBE for oversight of the project.
That is the same company that designed the plant expansion, so it makes sense for it to oversee construction, Goebel-Canning said.
In addition, commissioners will consider awarding the funding administration and compliance services for the project to Arcadis US for $319,450. That company would be in charge of making sure that the work meets all of the requirements under the state revolving trust fund loan the county is taking out to fund the project, Goebel-Canning said.
Also on the agenda is approval of an ordinance regarding implementing a reclaimed water program. Ultimately, the airport wastewater treatment plant will be providing water for reuse by golf courses or others once a customer base can be established, Goebel-Canning said.
The ordinance under consideration will provide a framework that would allow the county to negotiate with future water reuse customers.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.