Water / Wastewater Capital Improvement Projects
In 2018 the City completed a Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Survey (SSES) of the Core City wastewater collection (underground pipes, manholes, etc.) system. The lines were cleaned and videoed, and accurate maps produced of the system. From the videos areas in need of repair were identified and prioritized, and a strategic capital improvement program created. The City received significant grant funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) State Revolving Fund (SRF) to complete this task.
In 2015 the City began an evaluation to determine the most effective method to upgrade their wastewater treatment facilities. The evaluation included the following:
- Facilities Plan - complete evaluation of potential new plant sites including land values (cost), suitability of land for effluent application (ability to percolate water), costs of line extensions, etc.
- Complete evaluation of latest technology and efficient / effective plant types
- Analysis of the City's finances in general
- Capital Finance Plan
- Water, sewer, reclaimed water Master Plans
- Water, sewer, reclaimed water Rate Studies
From that evaluation a decision was made to consolidate our treatment facilities at the Harbor Road site, mothballing the South Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF). Some of the primary drivers of that decision were proximity to reclaimed water customers and future growth, existing river outfall, size of the site, etc.
Once again utilizing FDEP SRF funding/grant programs, the following activities have been completed:
- Planning Study (Complete and Paid in Full)
$80,000 total cost / $28,000 grant (35%), $52,000, 0.05% interest, 20-year loan
- Design, Permitting and SSES (Complete)
$2,261,200 total cost / $1,490,835 grant (66%) / $770,365, 0.05% interest, 20-year loan
- Phase I Construction (Complete) (see note 1)
$6,120,600 total cost / $4,063,425 grant (66%) / $2,057,175, 0.05% interest, 20-year loan.
- Phase II Construction (Initiated May 2021) (see note 2)
$14,500,000 total cost / $4500-000-FDEP Grant / $1,500,000 SJRWMD Grant / $8,5000,000, 0.05% interest, 20-year loan
Note 1: Phase I Construction (Complete) included reclaimed water plant improvements, new electrical system and upgrades to Master Lift Stations Number 2 and Number 4. The upgrade to Lift Station Number 2 will support the pumping of the sewage from the South WWTF to Harbor Road and mothballing the facility.
Note 2: Phase II Construction consists of the construction of a new 1.25 million gallon per day (MGD) advanced wastewater treatment facility at the Harbor Road site.
In 2017 the City completed the North Grid Reclaimed Water Main which provided piping to distribute reclaimed water to the Edgewater Landing and Black Creek Village developments. The pipe will also support any future developments in the northern service territory. The total cost of the project was $2 million. The City utilized the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) Cost Share Program to secure a 33% ($666,000) grant. The balance was paid through retained earnings and did not require a loan. The equipment to actually place reclaimed water in the pipe and to the customers is included in the Wastewater Phase I Construction project described above. The benefits of Reclaimed Water are described in the Reclaimed Water section above this Capital Improvements section.
In 2018 the City completed a Water Master Plan which identified future needs of our water treatment system to include wells, piping and treatment facilities. The City is in the process of identifying capital projects to enable us to be prepared for the future. In 2019, as a supplement to the Master Plan, the City has completed a Water Rate Study to identify and prioritize projects and the options for financing them.
The City has made every effort to be strategic as to how we construct and finance the future improvements to your water, wastewater, and reclaimed water facilities. Every effort throughout the process to value engineer the facilities to reduce costs has and will be made. The ultimate goal is to provide world-class facilities while remaining the lowest-cost utility provider in the area.
The City is grateful for the support provided for these projects by the citizens of Green Cove Springs, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD).