Reclaimed water project to protect Volusia Blue Spring nearing completion

PALATKA, Fla., April 29, 2016 — After two years of planning and construction, reclaimed water lines connecting the reuse distribution systems of DeLand, Deltona, Orange City and Volusia County are complete. The $6 million cost-share project was funded through the St. Johns River Water Management District and a 2013 state legislative appropriation in partnership with the West Volusia Water Suppliers, made up of Volusia County local governments.

“This partnership project will protect Blue Spring by reducing the use of fresh, drinkable groundwater for irrigation, which protects spring flows by reducing demand on surface and groundwater,” said District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “I am really delighted to see construction conclude and active springs protection begin. I look forward to working with local governments in Volusia County on future projects to benefit Blue Spring and other springs in the region.”

The project is among several reclaimed water cost-share projects that will help meet the adopted minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for Blue Spring and will help protect and enhance manatee habitat at Blue Spring. The interconnection will share reclaimed water among Deltona, DeLand, Orange City and Volusia County.

“The regional interconnect provides each of the West Volusia utilities sufficient alternative water supply enabling our respective systems to continue to extend reclaimed service necessary to meet anticipated water demand,” said Michael Ulrich, Volusia County Water Resources and Utilities director. “The Volusia County Council supports the continued development of alternative water supplies through these vital strategic partnerships which encourage responsible development and protect the spring for future generations.”

“We very much appreciate the district’s assistance on this project and those they have supported in the past. The ability to divert reclaimed water from its points of production to areas it can be beneficially used for irrigation and recharge in the Blue Spring springshed is a critical tool to sustain our community,” said Keith Riger, director of public services for the city of DeLand. “In addition, this project has demonstrated that the utilities in West Volusia can work cooperatively with the district and each other to fund and execute a major capital project for the greater good.”

“The city of Deltona was pleased to participate in this important project and looks forward to putting these interconnections in use soon,” said Gerald Chancellor, director of public works for the city of Deltona. “This project is just one of several projects that the city has undertaken in the past several years to benefit Blue Springs. We anticipate working with the district and the other west Volusia utilities in the future on additional projects. The city very much appreciates the assistance of the district staff and the cost-sharing funds provided for past projects.”

“Orange City is pleased with the partnership created with the district, Deltona, DeLand, and Volusia County to protect one of our most valuable resources, the Blue Spring,” said Orange City Public Works Director Migdalia Hernandez. “The use of reclaimed water will reduce the stress on our valuable drinking water resource and save customers money on their month water and sewer utility bills. The use of an alternative water supply such as reclaimed water is a priority at the local, state, and national level and Orange City is proud to be part of this great reclaimed water project partnership.”

The project consists of pipelines connecting DeLand and Volusia County reclaimed water mains on Martin Luther King Boulevard and connecting Volusia County and Deltona pipelines on Seagate Drive. Approximately 2.5 million gallons of water per day will be shared among the cities’ and county’s water supply systems. Future phases of the project will provide additional interconnections.