Tampa, FL – May 23, 2017 – Wharton-Smith, Inc., one of Central Florida’s largest locally based general contractors, joined with Citrus County Commissioners and staff, representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Engineer Jones Edmunds & Associates on May 23 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Southwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility.
Located in Homosassa, the Southwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility is an existing wastewater treatment facility owned and operated by Citrus County approximately three miles east of the Chassahowitzka River, a spring fed body of water. The new treatment facility will provide advanced wastewater treatment to reduce nitrogen loading to the Chassahowitzka Springs, and will have double the treatment capacity of the former plant.
As general contractor, Wharton-Smith will build the 1.5 million gallons per day (MGD) treatment plant intended to provide future service to more than 5,000 homes currently on septic tanks. The new facility will feature a four-stage Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) oxidation ditch system, a process used for nitrogen and phosphorus removal from wastewater before it is discharged. Additionally, the facility will produce high-quality reclaimed water for irrigation of public access areas further reducing the nitrogen load and the need for groundwater withdrawals.
The $23 million cornerstone project is part of the County’s continuing effort to protect water supplies by removing unwanted nutrients, reducing groundwater pumping, and providing capacity for future septic to sewer projects. The project includes the construction of a new influent pump station, headworks, oxidation ditch, clarifiers and chlorine contact basin. The project was funded through a $12.4 million loan through the state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), and a $4 million legislative appropriation grant. Construction is expected to be complete and operational by summer 2020.