Water / Wastewater Division
The Mission of the City of Green Cove Springs Water Department is to provide citizens quality drinking water and wastewater treatment in an efficient and cost-effective manner, while exceeding regulatory requirements and being protective of Public Health, the Environment, Floridan Aquifer, the St. Johns River and its tributaries.
For information about the City's water and wastewater systems please contact Scott Schultz, the Water Utilities Director.
Water conservation should be everyone's priority. Clean drinking water is a precious resource. Efforts to reduce water consumption inside homes and businesses, in addition to reducing water used for irrigation, is a critical component of the City's Mission Statement above. A good resource for methods to reduce water consumption, in addition to regulations on irrigation ("watering days/times", etc.) is the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). Visit the SJRWMD water conservation website.
The City follows the SJRWMD regulations on irrigation ("watering days/times", etc.).
Water for the City is provided by two water treatment plants, the Harbor Road Water Treatment Facility (WTF) and the Reynolds WTF. The water from these plants are combined to form one system which consists of five wells which pull from the Floridan Aquifer, four groundwater storage tanks, and three elevated storage tanks (towers). Due to the excellent water quality of the Floridan Aquifer, the water treatment process is limited to aeration and chlorination (disinfection).
Wastewater generated by the City is treated at one of two wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater from the Northern and Core City sections are treated by the Harbor Road Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) which has a treatment capacity of 0.75 million gallons per day (MGD). Wastewater from the South and Reynolds Industrial areas of the city are treated by the South WWTF which has a capacity of 0.35 MGD. The wastewater is collected throughout the city by a combination of gravity and force main piping systems which includes 37 sewage pumping (lift) stations.
In 2015 the City completed a Wastewater Master Plan which involved an extensive review of the future needs for wastewater treatment far into the future. From this master plan the City developed a five-year plan to combine all wastewater treatment at the Harbor Road WWTF by constructing a new advanced wastewater treatment (AWWT) facility. By design, AWWT plants reduce the concentration of nitrogen in the effluent to approximately three parts per million (ppm) and concentration of phosphorus to one ppm (the importance of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus discharges is more fully described below in the Reclaimed Water section). The plant will be designed and built in phases as the City grows and is more fully described on the Capital Improvement Program page.
Residuals (Sludge) Treatment
Treated solids collected from the wastewater treatment process are referred to as "residuals" or sludge. The sludge is dewatered (dried) and taken to the Clay County Rosemary Hill Landfill for final disposition.
The treated water from a wastewater treatment plant is referred to as "effluent." The effluent from the City's wastewater treatment plants meets (actually exceeds) the State and Federal regulatory requirements. The final effluent is discharged one of two ways - into lakes at Magnolia Point Golf and Country Club for irrigation (called reclaimed water or reuse) or directly into the St. Johns River.
As mentioned above, an excellent use of effluent from the wastewater treatment plants is for irrigation, called reclaimed water. Use of reclaimed water provides two primary benefits - reducing drinking water withdrawals from the Floridan Aquifer and reducing nutrient discharges to the St. Johns River.
The Floridan Aquifer is located in limerock approximately 1000 feet below the ground. This excellent source of water is a very precious and limited resource. Nearly 50% of the water produced by the City is used for irrigation. Utilizing reclaimed water for irrigation reduces withdrawals from the Floridan Aquifer and preserves this precious drinking water for human consumption.
Nutrients (primarily nitrogen and phosphorus) which are naturally occurring in wastewater (and wastewater effluent), have been found to contribute to algae growth in surface water (lakes, streams, rivers). When these nutrients are discharged into surface water algae blooms occur which reduces oxygen levels and affect naturally occurring plants and animals. Sending the plant effluent to irrigation reduces discharge of the effluent, and ultimately nutrients, to the St. Johns River.
Water Department Staffing
The Water Department currently has seven staff operators which possess dual State licenses in water and wastewater treatment. The operators maintain and operate the plants and related equipment under the conditions of both State and Federal permits. In addition, the water distribution and wastewater collection system is maintained/monitored by five state-licensed distribution system operators. The water and wastewater facilities are staffed seven days per week 365 days per year and electronically monitored by staff 24/7/365.
Regulatory Sampling, Analysis & Compliance
Extensive sampling and analysis of the water produced and wastewater treated by the City is conducted to ensure quality. All of the City's water and wastewater facilities meet or exceed all Federal and State permit and regulatory requirements.