Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Port Richey closer to water independence

PORT RICHEY — Pat Stewart drove his city utility truck down an uneven dirt road off Bandura Avenue, hopped out of the vehicle and hit the switch.

That simple act Tuesday evening activated the fourth of the city's new wells — and marked the completion of a three-year project that city officials hope will eventually end their decades-old reliance on New Port Richey for water.

"The Department of Environmental Protection sent a final clearance letter to the city saying all the tests were done right and bacteria levels were proper," said Stewart, the city's utilities supervisor.

"We had permission to turn it on, and it felt great," he said. "It's been a long time coming."

The city of 3,200 already had three wells up and running near City Hall on Ridge Road when officials unveiled a plan three years ago to end their reliance on New Port Richey for water.

Back then, more than a third of Port Richey's water came from its neighbor: From October 2006 to September 2007, Port Richey pumped 241-million gallons from its own wells, and bought another 137-million gallons from New Port Richey for $535,539.

Port Richey officials decided to boost the city's supply by building four more wells using a $3-million bond issue.

When construction on those wells wrapped up in March, a consultant at U.S. Water told city officials not to cut off their access to New Port Richey water. As the city grows, the consultant said, it would need more water and access to an emergency supply.

So the City Council agreed to extend its bulk water purchasing contract with its municipal neighbor.

Now, with $1.3-million left in the bond issue — $1.7-million was used for the construction of the wells — two features are being added to keep the system running smoothly.

City officials plan to install a computer system that could be controlled at the water plant behind City Hall. The system would allow city officials to turn the wells on and off without having to drive to the well field, which is about a mile away from City Hall.

In addition, a second above-ground storage tank will be installed at the water plant so the city can store 1.4-million gallons of water in case of a hurricane. (An existing tank already can hold 400,000 gallons.)

City officials are relieved that the bulk of the project is complete. "It's something we needed," said Mayor Richard Rober, "and it will help our capacity for water supply in the future."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

By the numbers

450,000: Gallons of water purchased daily from New Port Richey before Port Richey built four more wells.

100,000 to 200,000: Gallons of water purchased daily from New Port Richey now that Port Richey's new wells are online.

1.2-million:Gallons pumped daily from Port Richey's seven wells.

Source: Port Richey


Dredging update

The City Council will hold a workshop at 6 p.m. July 8 at City Hall, 6333 Ridge Road, to update residents on the dredging project. The city is on the verge of receiving a state permit to dredge 25 of its 27 canals. At 6:30 p.m., the council will continue a discussion on whether to make changes to the city's waterfront fence code.

Port Richey closer to water independence 06/25/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 10:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.