A project to link the water systems of Zephyrhills and Dade City is headed to construction, most likely by this summer.
The Zephyrhills City Council, on May 10, approved a contract for about $1.7 million with Suncoast Development of Pinellas County.
Work can begin after the Florida Department of Transportation completes its resurfacing and trails project on U.S. 301, which could happen within the next month.
Once underway, work on the water systems is expected to take about a month, said John Bostic, utilities director for the City of Zephyrhills.
Last year, the cities of Zephyrhills and Dade City reached a 25-year interlocal agreement to link their water systems. The agreement is seen as a backup plan during water emergencies. Both cities also anticipate greater water needs as more residences and commercial development sprouts along U.S. 301, the federal highway that links the two.
“If one of us ever runs out of water, we can send water on its way to one or the other,” Bostic said.
Each city would pay the going rate at the time, according to the agreement.
The project involves installing about three miles of water pipes and fire hydrants along the east side of U.S. 301, from Phelps Road to near the highway’s intersection with U.S. 98 Bypass in Dade City. Centennial Road will mark the dividing line between the two systems.
Construction costs will be paid through a $2 million grant awarded to the City of Zephyrhills by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Both cities use multiple public wells to supply residents and businesses with drinking water drawn from the Floridan aquifer. Zephyrhills gets most of its water from the Hillsborough River Groundwater Basin, and a portion from the Withlacoochee River Basin. Dade City’s permitted wells are within the Withlacoochee basin.
Published May 18, 2016