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News Story
Updated: 05/15/2014 08:00:04AM

Regional water plant — billions of gallons served

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ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

Patrick Lehman, executive director of the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, points out the areas served by the authority and the plans for additional pipelines.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

Raw water enters a series of large tanks, called clarifiers, where chemicals are mixed to coagulate contaminants before it flows into filters for further treatment and disinfection. The Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority can treat up to 48 million gallons of water daily and operates 65 miles of pipelines to deliver water in DeSoto, Charlotte and Sarasota counties.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

The State of Florida is presenting $1.5 million to the Peace River/ Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority toward renovation and expansion of the water treatment plant located on Kings Highway. On Thursday, former representatives of the member communities, who served on the board of directors when the rebuilding plan was approved, were on hand to accept the check during the Authority's annual tour and barbecue lunch. From left: State Representative Ray Pilon; Dick Loftus, former Charlotte County Commissioner; Shannon Staub, former Sarasota County Commissioner; Jerry Hill, former DeSoto County Commissioner; State Representative Ken Roberson; and Adam Cummings, former Charlotte County Commissioner.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
In the foreground is the wall of one of the original General Development clarifier tanks, showing the walls after cleaning and with patches applied to seal any cracks. In the back, another tank has been coated with epoxy inside.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Richard Anderson, system operations manager, explains that old metal fixtures such as pipes and weirs corroded with rust over the years and need to be repaired or replaced.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
A complex system of pipes delivers water from the clarifier tank to the filter system. Pipes that have corroded or developed leaks over the past 30+ years are being replaced.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
The regional water authority has won many awards for best-tasting water.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
The newer filters clean the water after the coagulation process. Water is filtered through layers of gravel, sand and charcoal to remove any fine particles priior to disinfection.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Four large pumps draw water from the Peace River and direct it to 66-inch diameter underground pipes that bring the water to the reservoir on the other side of Kings Highway.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
The area of the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority's intake along the Peace River is scenic. The authority withdraws water only when water levels are high enough to assure the river and estuary habitats will be protected.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
The one-mile-square reservoir, completed in 2009, holds 6 billion gallons of raw water. The banks are finished as stairsteps to reduce the impace of water waves on the slopes. It is built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
At the barbecue, a plaque honoring the late Guy Maxcy, DeSoto County administrator, was displayed.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
DeSoto County Coordinator Mandy Hines, left, greets Tara Poulton, Southwest Florida Water Management District's government affairs manager, at the water authroity's barbecue Friday.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
DeSoto County Commissioner Bob Miller represents the county on the board of the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority.

By SUSAN E. HOFFMAN

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At the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority’s annual tour and barbecue last week, they had a chance to tout a $1.5 million grant from the State of Florida toward its current renovation and expansion project.

The Authority’s Executive Director, Patrick Lehman, said it is in the middle of a $12.8 million project in which they are rehabilitating tanks and equipment that date back to General Development days.

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