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Pinellas residents asked to conserve water during construction

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Published:   |   Updated: February 19, 2014 at 04:15 PM

TARPON SPRINGS — Pinellas County Utilities officials are requesting that residents limit their potable water usage through the end of the month.

A construction project by the Pinellas County Department of Environment and Infrastructure and Tampa Bay Water at the S. K. Keller Water Treatment Facility in Tarpon Springs necessitates the conservation request. Clearwater-based Tampa Bay Water is the regional water wholesaler serving Pinellas County.

The Feb. 18-28 construction is a portion of a larger water-related project the county is undertaking through this summer, said plant operations manager Kevin Becotte. This segment, he said, is the most critical because it involves the regional supply line – a 66-inch main from TBW facilities – and impacts the water supply.

Crews will relocateand install new, more accurate meters at various points of connection along pipelines. To do this work, the regional pipeline is affected for the 10-day period.

“Normally we can get upwards of 100 million gallons a day through that pipeline,” Becotte said. “Without that pipeline operating, now we’re restricted to about 60 million gallons a day from some other sources that we have.”

Because of the disruption, residents are being asked to curb all unnecessary indoor and outdoor water use. Suggestions to do so include refraining from pressure washing or car washing and filling pools. Practicing common water conservation methods such as reducing shower times and not running water while brushing teeth or shaving cut down on indoor usage.

This request comes while the county is already under a Phase II Water Shortage Order that limits lawn irrigation to one day per week.

County utility representatives report that the benefits of this current 10-day construction project include reducing long-term operation and maintenance costs of the system while also improving water quality management and providing a more reliable, blended supply of drinking water.

More information on Pinellas County’s water restrictions and utilities can be found online at www.pinellascounty.org/utilities/water-restrict.htm.

ehorchy@suncoastnews.com

(727) 815-1071(727) 815-1071

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