News / Events

Titusville gets new source of water

DAVE BERMAN

July 1, 2011

Project could save city money

The Area IV Wellfield will allow Titusville's Water Resources Department to draw water from wells that will be drilled in the northwest corner of Brevard County. / For FLORIDA TODAY

City residents will have a new source of drinking water by next spring, as construction related to a $7.5 million water supply project continues to flow smoothly.

The project -- known as the Area IV Wellfield -- will allow Titusville's Water Resources Department to draw from wells that will be drilled in the northwest corner of Brevard County as part of an unusual partnership with a private company called Farmton Water Resources.

The project will enable Titusville to be less dependent on its existing Area II and Area III wellfields within the city and on the Cocoa Water Department for its water supply.

"We're trying to solve Titusville's water needs," better control operating costs and better manage future rate increases, said Sean Stauffer, Titusville's interim water resources director.

Separately, Farmton's Chicago-based parent company, Miami Corp., an investment company with a range of business interests, is moving forward on planning for commercial and industrial projects on land it owns west of Interstate 95's Scottsmoor exit.

Glenn Storch, an attorney for Miami Corp., said several companies have contacted Miami Corp., expressing interest in considering relocating to North Brevard.

Emphasizing that the talks are preliminary, Storch said, "I don't want to get anybody's hopes up."

The more immediate project is working with Titusville to complete the Area IV Wellfield project.

The new wellfield will be able to supply as much as 2.75 million gallons of water a day to Titusville when both phases are operational, Stauffer said. He said it would cost four times as much to get that amount of water from Cocoa as it would to get it from the Area IV Wellfield.

"I think things have worked out really well," Stauffer said. "It has been a very good opportunity for us."

The city's older wellfields have experienced reduced output.

On an average day, Titusville's 21,000 residential and business customer accounts use about 4.1 million gallons of water, including 3.6 million from its own wellfields and 0.5 million from Cocoa. Most of the customers are within Titusville, although some are just outside the city line.

The first phase of the Area IV Wellfield project should be online by spring, and the second phase sometime in 2013.

Titusvilleestablished a joint venture with Farmton Water Resources to operate the Area IV project, through an entity known as TIFA LLC.

Construction of a 12-mile, $5.7 million water pipeline from the wellfield in northwest Brevard to the Mourning Dove Water Treatment Plant on Garden Street in Titusville is almost complete. That element of the project is being funded by a $2.5 million federal stimulus grant, coupled with a low-interest loan through a state program.

Other elements of the first phase of the project include:

·  Drilling six production wells and three monitoring wells within the wellfield, at a cost of about $1.5 million.

·  Installing an additional 3,500 feet of pipeline to connect the production wells to the 12-mile pipeline that leads to the Mourning Dove Water Treatment Plant, at a cost of about $300,000.

Farmton and the city will share the $1.8 million total cost of those two elements.

Stauffer said TIFA's budget is $3.5 million for design and construction of the second phase of the project -- a cost which will be split between the city and Farmton. That phase includes nine more production wells, plus additional pipelines connecting those wells to the pipeline leading to the treatment plant.

Stauffer said the new wellfield should have no effect on his department's staffing level of 114, since the older wellfields will be less used, requiring less staff time in those operations.

Contact Berman at 321-360-1016 or dberman@floridatoday.com

 


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