City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!

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An important project is underway at the T.B. Williams Water Treatment Plant to ensure that all City of Lakeland water customers continue to receive the cleanest drinking water possible.

TLC Diversified, Inc., of Palmetto, Florida, the company contracted to complete the project, has a team of experienced professionals assigned to replace the sealant coating and filter nozzles of the six 43 foot long by 14 foot wide, by 10 feet high water filtering structures at the plant.

The three filter units use dual media (anthracite coal over silica sand) to remove suspended particles from the water to meet potable water standards and to ensure clear and safe finished water.  Filtering achieves multiple water filtering objectives including control of color and clarity and removal of tastes, odors, organic compounds and disease-producing organisms.

These filters were constructed in 1983 with the last significant work done in 1999.  The effects of normal wear and tear have degraded the integrity of the coatings, reduced the filtering efficiency and impaired equipment operation.

The process takes five to seven days to complete, per filter structure, weather permitting. The walls of the unit must meet strict temperature and moisture levels for the coating material to be applied. The process includes several steps. The tank must be drained then all adjacent equipment and exposed surfaces must be covered and sealed before the coating can be applied. After the coating has cured, the 1,300 nozzle caps are unscrewed then the nozzles are replaced with new assemblies. Finally, the new filtering media is added and water is reintroduced and tested prior to placing the filter back into service.. 

The project is planned to allow for the uninterrupted operation of the plant and is expected to last five months with a ten- year lifespan.

Twelve bids were received in December of 2009 with TLC Diversified’s bid of $619,784 being the lowest, responsive and responsible proposal.

TLC Diversified specializes in water and wastewater treatment facility related projects. Their experience includes projects for the Cities of Tamarac, Clearwater, and Leesburg.

On Saturday, April 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the City of Lakeland’s Solid Waste in coordination with the Polk County Solid Waste Division is sponsoring a FREE Household Hazardous Waste and End-Of-Life Electronics Collection Event, located at the Lakeland Center, 701 W. Lime Street, in the south parking lot west of WONN Radio Station. This Mobile Collection Event is intended to make it more convenient for our community to safely dispose of their waste and discarded electronic equipment.

Household Hazardous Waste - Accepted Materials

Paints, paint thinners, florescent light bulbs, motor oil, drain cleaners, pool chemicals, insecticides, household batteries, etc.  No biohazard (medical) waste or business waste will be accepted.

End-Of-Life Electronics – Accepted Materials

Computers, monitors, keyboards, terminals, televisions, stereos, printers, fax machines, video games consoles, wireless devices, etc.   No more than five items per household please.

Should you have any questions, please call Debbie Almon, Field Supervisor @ 834-8778.

The harvest has begun in the northeast well field property.  Approximately 200 acres of pine trees originally planted in 1997 and 1998 are being removed.  In December of 2008, the State of Florida advised the City of Lakeland that rehydration of the well field was required.  Rehydration is the process of removing all non-native vegetation.

As a result of the well field improvement plan, the trees will be removed during the spring of 2011. They will be cut, stripped and transported to be converted into pine mulch and lumber. The timber values will be used to help offset a portion of the project expense.

Prior to the project beginning, an environmental expert spent several weeks surveying, locating and marking the nearly 50 gopher tortoise burrows throughout the area. Great care will be taken to avoid disturbing these habitats as the tree removal continues.

Site observations indicate that the pine tree forests are drier than other open land areas.  The dry conditions are attributed to the effects of a multiple year drought which has had a significant impact on Florida’s water resources.

The current pine tree forest will be replaced with a Bahia grass pasture which will reduce overall plant water demands, improve site hydrologic conditions, enhance surface water recharge of surface groundwater and  improve wetland functions. 

Bid prices ranged from $595,600 to $1,292,730 with Marcobay Construction’s proposal for $595,600 being below the engineer’s estimate of $904,104.  The City Commission approved the construction agreement with Marcobay Construction Inc. of Lakeland, Florida on December 6, 2010.

The 860 acre Northeast Well Field serving the Combee Water Treatment Plant provides 4 million gallons of raw water per day.

Lakeland Police will hold a swearing in ceremony for Chief Lisa Womack on Friday, March 11, 2011, at City Hall Commission Chambers, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida at 1:00 p.m. Chief Womack will be introduced by City Manager Doug Thomas and Lieutenant John Thomason will preside as Master of Ceremonies. Mayor Gow Fields will also be in attendance.

The swearing in ceremony will be streaming live on the City of Lakeland website and televised live on our Lakeland Government Network, Channel 43 for Verizon FiOS and 615 for Brighthouse. The public and media are invited to attend. Due to limited space in City Hall we may need to utilize a pool camera if there is a large media attendance.

There will be a Meet and Greet reception for City of Lakeland employees following the swearing in ceremony at 2:30 p.m. to be held at the First United Methodist Church, 72 Lake Morton Drive in Lakeland.

The media is invited to attend. Chief Womack will be available to answer media questions at the beginning of the reception. Time allowed for formal media questions will be limited as this event is designed to be a casual and warm welcome for our new Chief.

Media inquiries should be directed to Sergeant Terri Smith, PIO, 863-834-6917. This information is also available on