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. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  2. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  3. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin


    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    In their third year with pitching coach Neil Allen, the Twins have been one of the surprises of the American League.
  5. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond


    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.