Haines City Awarded $6.2 Million for Drinking Water Improvements

Oct. 8, 2015

The Department of Environmental Protection recently provided approximately $6.2 million in funding through its State Revolving Fund (SRF) Program to improve Haines City’s Water Treatment Plant No. 1 by adding new equipment to better purify the city’s drinking water.

“DEP is thrilled to collaborate with Haines City in an effort to improve their water quality,” said Trina Vielhauer, director of the Division of Water Restoration Assistance. “We are happy to provide funding for these needed improvements.”

The department’s Drinking Water SRF Program provides low-interest loans to eligible local governments and utilities for the planning, designing and constructing of public water facilities.

The project will add four pressure vessels to remove dissolved compounds, a storage tank and systems to add chlorine before and after water enters the new tanks, which will aid in the purification and treatment of water.

“The funding received for this project is very beneficial, thus saving the organization 85 percent of the construction cost,” said Jonathan Evans, city manager for Haines City. “We could not be more appreciative and grateful for our partners with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for seeing the merit in our proposal.This project is by far one of the most meaningful projects in decades, because it protects the state’s most vital resource, our water.”

Drinking water systems are required to disinfect the water before distributing it. Chlorine, the most commonly used disinfectant, can react with organic compounds that are present in the water to form unhealthy byproducts of the disinfection process. Flushing water mains is a typical practice to reduce the levels of byproducts in the distribution pipes, but flushing is not an efficient way to correct the problem. The funding will allow the city to construct improvements to remove organic compounds prior to the final disinfection step, which will reduce byproducts.

DEP’s SRF Program, established in 1989 for wastewater projects, and 1998 for drinking water projects, has awarded more than $4.8 billion in loans for wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure, including about $1.4 billion in funding for more than 200 projects in the past five years. The program is funded by federal grants, state matching funds, loan repayments and interest earnings. For more information, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/water/waterprojectfunding/.

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