HCUD to hold open house on expansion/upgrade of Airport Water Reclamation Facility
The Hernando County Utilities Department (HCUD) is currently in the design phase for an upgrade and expansion to the existing Airport Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), located in the Brooksville Airport industrial park on Downwind Way. Residents are invited to attend an open house on December 3, 2019 from 4 – 6:30 p.m. at the HCUD Building, located at 15365 Cortez Boulevard to ask any questions and provide public comment on this project.
This property was zoned in October 1993 for a Public Service Facility Overlay and the WRF began operation in October 1999.The current upgrade and expansion will be constructed at the existing WRF site, on the north end of the property, and will increase its capacity from 3.5 to 6 million gallons per day (MGD). Work is expected to be complete by 2023.
This project is necessary to meet the standards of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Weeki Wachee Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), to remove the outdated Spring Hill WRF from service, and to accommodate growth in the area.
All WRFs within the BMAP area are required to treat wastewater for total nitrogen levels of 3 milligrams per liter or less. Filtration is not required by regulation but will be included in the project to ensure a higher level of treatment.
All new treatment processes will be built within the existing plant footprint at the north end of the property. Only the new reclaimed water recharge ponds will be constructed south of the existing facility during this project (see map below). These ponds will be built to allow reclaimed water to filter into the ground and recharge the aquifer, helping to maintain minimum flows and levels in Hernando County lakes and springs. In many communities this reclaimed water is often used to irrigate parks, golf courses and residential lawns.
An undisturbed natural tree buffer will be left along the south, east and west sides of the site. The south buffer will be approximately 120 feet, more than twice the required 50 feet.
Additionally, the existing WRF has a scrubber (odor control system) at the point where sewer gases are released when sewage is exposed to the atmosphere. This point is located 7/10th of a mile north of the southern property line and will remain in its current location. Gases that cause odor are currently being controlled by the scrubber. This existing scrubber is capable of treating any additional gases that may be generated by this planned expansion. No chlorine gas is used at this location. The new treatment process is designed to minimize any aerosol productions and to ensure there are no detectable odors leaving the property. There have been no documented health issues among WRF staff who are onsite daily.
Contact the Hernando County Utilities Department at (352) 754-4037 for any questions regarding this project or open house event.