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.
|Water and Sewer Rates||2020 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report|
For information about the City’s water and wastewater systems please contact:
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. The link to their water conservation website is http://www.sjrwmd.com/waterconservation/
The City follows the SJRWMD regulations on irrigation (“watering days/times”, etc.) The link to their water restrictions website is: http://www.sjrwmd.com/wateringrestrictions/
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 ground water 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 (3) parts per million (ppm) and concentration of phosphorus to one (1) 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 in the Capital Improvement Program section below.
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 fifty percent (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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
* Phase I Construction (Complete) included reclaimed water plant improvements, new electrical system and upgrades to Master Lift Stations #2 and #4. The upgrade to Lift Station #2 will support the pumping of the sewage from the South WWTF to Harbor Road and mothballing the facility.
* 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% ($666,000.00) 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).