Water

We produce nearly 10 million gallons of drinking water every day for our members. Our water treatment system includes more than 35 wells, approximately 484 miles of water lines, 8,000 valves, 3,600 fire hydrants and two water treatment plants.

The following documents provide technical and procedural requirements for design and construction to connect to or extend utility infrastructure.

Our wells draw water from two sources: the Lower Tamiami and Upper Floridan Aquifers. The water then goes through one of two water treatment processes:

droplet

Lime softening is a water treatment process that uses calcium hydroxide, or limewater, to soften water by removing calcium and magnesium. Lime softening is common in Florida and offers many benefits, including the reduction of dissolved minerals and metals that naturally exist in source water.

droplet
Reverse osmosis is a water purification method that removes salt, sand and other impurities from drinking water using water pressure and a semi-impermeable membrane.

After treatment, the water is blended together to create clean, award-winning drinking water of the highest quality for our members.

Facilities

The Lime Softening Water Treatment Plant has a 9 MGD capacity. Water comes from 19 wells (80-115 feet deep) that draw fresh water from the Lower Tamiami Aquifer.

Hydrogen Sulfide Stripper Towers

The Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant currently has an 8.56 MGD capacity and is undergoing a 4.0 MGD expansion to be completed in 2023. Water comes from 15 wells (700-1,120 feet deep) that draw brackish water from the Upper Floridan Aquifer. After the plant expansion is completed, an additional 11 Upper Floridan Aquifer wells will come online as an additional water source.

Hydrogen Sulfide Stripper Towers

The RO Plant expansion includes the construction of a 2.0 MGD bypass capability, which will allow blending of Lower Tamiami Aquifer well water with
Upper Floridan Aquifer well water to reduce RO system operating costs and provide backup capacity when the Lime Softening Plant is offline for maintenance.

Water Facilities Resource Book

Our Long-Term Water Supply

Since 2020, we have worked to renew, expand and combine the water use permits for both the Lower Tamiami Aquifer and Upper Floridan Aquifer. The South Florida Water Management District oversees and authorizes water withdrawals from surface and groundwater. In March 2022, BSU successfully obtained a 20-year permit allowing for expansion and operational flexibility from both sources for a total annual allocation of 16.4 million gallons per day (MGD). By using detailed groundwater modeling and physically verifying aquifer performance, the maximum month allocation of the Lower Tamiami Aquifer increased by approximately 2 MGD.