Tampa City Council: Need for reclaimed water is great

11/15/07 Mitch E. Perry
Alan Watts

The Tampa City Council today approved a $53-million bond issue, with a third of that money being spent on replacing dilapidated pipes that are leaking billions of gallons of water a year.

The proposal was introduced by Director of Public Works Steve Dagnault.

Council members approved the measure without much comment. However, New Tampa Councilman Joseph Cataeno asked if the city could begin laying reclaimed water lines at the same time it does pipe repair work.

Dagnault said building the infrastructure for reclaimed water was not part of the design just approved.

But Catanoe’s suggestion prompted a spontaneous discussion on the needs of getting more Tampa citizens signed up for reclaimed water.

Councilman John Dingfelder has previous said the City should start mandating that residences in South Tampa get hooked up to the system.

Councilman Charlie Miranda said that when reclaimed water was first offered to residential customers in South Tampa, the cost was almost the same as the cost of regular potable water, providing little incentive for homeowners. But he said those prices have changed, which should make it more desirable for residents.

City staff will discuss plans to expand reclaimed water to businesses early next month before the City Council.

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