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Tampa Bay Water's regional surface water treatment facility, the second largest design-build-operate project for drinking water services in the United States, has won the award for the best infrastructure project from the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP). Made possible through a public-private partnership between Tampa Bay Water and USFilter Operating Services Inc. (USFilter), the project was singled out for its originality, quality and implementation while generating savings of approximately $80 million.
"The NCPPP awards process is arduous and designed to identify the best in public-private partnerships," said Richard Norment, executive director, NCPPP. "Our objective is to hold up examples that can provide others with a clear illustration of the capabilities of these cooperative agreements between the public and private sectors. Tampa Bay Water and USFilter should be proud to be one of the few selected for this prestigious award."
To help meet the need for new drinking water supplies in the region, Tampa Bay Water entered into a $144 million, 15-year design-build-operate agreement in March 2000 with a team led by USFilter for a 66-million-gallon-per-day regional surface water treatment plant. As part of the agreement, USFilter carried out the design and construction of the plant and today provides for its day-to-day operation.
Chuck Carden, Tampa Bay Water's project manager who oversaw the entire project and accepted the award, attributed the success of the project to the design-build team and partnership approach. "We faced several challenges throughout the project, including a late decision to expand the plant's capacity during construction, but the team effort ultimately made this project a success. Built on time and on budget, Tampa Bay Water now has a plant that serves as the cornerstone of our operations and will generate approximately $80 million in savings over the 15-year partnership."
USFilter designed and built the facility incorporating some of the most advanced technologies, such as high-rate ballasted flocculation, ozone disinfection and biologically active granular activated carbon. The plant treats varying water quality and flow rates without compromising water quality or the environment. In fact, it produces water that meets or is superior to all federal, state and local water quality requirements.
The facility provides the first non-groundwater source to Tampa Bay Water's member governments, which serve more than 2 million residents. The plant is the hub of the water supplier's $600 million master water plan.