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April 17, 2015
Partnership project to benefit Volusia Blue Spring, water supply
Work has begun on a $6 million project to connect the reclaimed water distribution systems of Volusia County and the cities of DeLand, Deltona and Orange City. The interconnection will help conserve fresh groundwater and benefit Volusia Blue Spring.
The project is funded by the three local governments, which are part of the West Volusia Water Suppliers (WVWS), the St. Johns River Water Management District and the state.
“More than $80 million in total project costs has been dedicated over the past two years to springs within the St. Johns District,” said District Governing Board Member Maryam H. Ghyabi of Ormond Beach. “This funding demonstrates the collective commitment of the Board, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and local partners to conserve and restore our springs.”
“This project is an example of collaboration between Volusia County and our city partners in west Volusia,” said Volusia County Council Chairman Jason Davis. “We all understand that water supply and improved water quality are shared responsibilities within our community, and that we can deliver far better results toward achieving regional goals by working together.”
“Participation with the WVWS team for the introduction of reclaimed water into our city will reduce our potable water withdrawals from the aquifer and result in improved minimum flows from Blue Spring,” said Orange City Mayor Tom Laputka. “We appreciate the District’s support in this important project.”
To protect Blue Spring flows and reduce the use of potable water for irrigation, the Volusia reclaimed water project will provide reclaimed water to new customers. The three-phase project will first connect the county’s Deltona North wastewater treatment plant to the city of DeLand’s reclaimed water distribution system. In the second phase, the Deltona and DeLand areas will connect to the county’s Southwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility. The final phase will connect the county’s Deltona North wastewater treatment plant to Deltona’s reclaimed water distribution system.
“The city of Deltona has been pleased to work in cooperation with Volusia County, Deland and Orange City over the past few years in the planning, engineering, and now construction of the reclaimed water interconnect project,” said Deltona Mayor John C. Masiarczyk Sr. “Our respective staff members have worked well together in seeing this important project come to fruition. We shall look forward to working together in the future on similar projects and with the District staff as well.”
“The city of DeLand sincerely appreciates the District’s cooperation with, and support of, the West Volusia Utility providers,” DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar said. “The District has not only helped fund our projects, it has worked with us to develop a list of projects that are a much more cost-effective approach to assist us in meeting the Blue Spring minimum flows and levels requirements. We hope that the District’s support will continue as we move on to other projects on the list.”
Projects to improve the health of Florida’s springs and their ecosystems are a major focus of the District’s Springs Protection Initiative. These include reclaimed water projects that decrease nitrate pollution by reducing or eliminating wastewater discharges and protect spring flows by reducing demand for groundwater withdrawals.
The District is currently partnering in 22 springs protection cost‑share projects in the Silver Springs system in Ocala, the Wekiva River springshed in central Florida, and the Volusia Blue Spring system.
The District is currently reviewing additional springs protection project applications for a new round of cost-share funding for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2015. The District has dedicated $15 million in its preliminary budget for cost-share projects for water conservation, alternative water supply development, water quality/nutrient load reduction and water resource development.
Visit floridaswater.com/springs/projects.html for more information about the District’s work to protect springs through cost-share partnerships.