Tampa desalination plant approaching final approvals

A seawater desalination plant planned to provide 25 million gallons per day of water to the Tampa Bay region reached a next-to-final milestone.

Feb. 26, 2001—A seawater desalination plant planned to provide 25 million gallons per day of water to the Tampa Bay region reached a next-to-final milestone.

Last week, the Department of Environmental Protection issued a final draft permit to S&W Water. The draft permit starts the clock ticking for final approvals and construction.

By the end of March, the DEP will hold a public hearing to consider any additional information submitted by the public or interested parties. The department has been reviewing studies, engineering reports and other technical data related to the proposed plant for more than 18 months. During this period, interested parties have commented on the project, process and proposed permit.

The $110 million facility will provide 10 percent of the water for the Tampa Bay region. The plant will be able to deliver 25 million gallons of water to Tampa Bay Water, the regional wholesaler, by the end of 2002.

The project is being monitored by coastal communities around the US and overseas. If successful, Tampa Bay will have the most cost-efficient desalinated water in the world, according to Poseidon Resources, whose subsidiary S&W Water was selected to build, manage and own the plant.

Construction on the plant could begin as early as May.

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