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Lakeland-TECO Cooling Water Project Reaches Watershed Moment

In early 2009, the City of Lakeland and Tampa Electric Company (TECO) entered into an agreement whereby the City of Lakeland will supply TECO with water from our Wetland Treatment System.  TECO will use this water to augment the cooling reservoir at their Polk Power Station located in southwest Polk County.   This agreement was a fundamental consideration in Lakeland’s securing of a twenty year Water Use Permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Since entering into that agreement, the City has supplied TECO and their consultant AECOM with twenty years’ worth of water quality and water quantity data from our Wetland system.  TECO and AECOM used that data to design a treatment system for the water being supplied by Lakeland.

In order to test the effectiveness of the design, AECOM built a temporary, small scale, treatment system at the City’s Wetland site in December of 2010.  They anticipate completing the pilot treatment system evaluation by the end of April.

The pilot treatment system is composed of three elements.  First, the raw water from the Wetland Cell 7 is pumped into a clarifier.  Using Ferric Chloride as a coagulant, the clarifier removes the majority of the larger solids from the water.  Following the clarifier, the water is then pumped through a multimedia sand filtration system which increases clarity to nearly 100%.    Finally, the water is directed through a reverse osmosis system which removes any remaining minute contaminates.  After the daily test results have been recorded, the clean water is then pumped back into the Wetland system.  The solids removed are stored on site and transported to the Glendale Wastewater treatment facility for disposal.

AECOM has been treating approximately 70,000 gallons per day with this system. The results of the tests have been outstanding and will provide valuable information regarding specifications for the treatment facility that will be built by TECO at their power plant.

According to the Lakeland-TECO agreement, TECO will initially have access to 5.2 million gallons of our water per day with additional quantities possible in future years. 

This represents a significant beneficial reuse of our water while alleviating potential treatment and discharge costs for the City of Lakeland. It insures available drinking water supplies for the citizen’s of Lakeland in the future and it allows TECO to meet their cooling water needs while drastically reducing their impact on ground water supplies.




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