Tampa Bay Water's C.W. Bill Young Reservoir fills to halfway point
CLEARWATER – After a year and a half of being offline for construction, the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir is again filled to nearly one-half its capacity of 15.5 billion gallons.
On July 25, 2014, Tampa Bay Water received the go-ahead from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to begin refilling the reservoir to 7.5 billion gallons, or nearly half of the capacity it holds.. Since then, water has flowed into the reservoir at an average rate of 120 million gallons per day.
As of Sept. 29, 2014, the agency has banked more than 7 billion gallons in its regional reservoir.
“This represents a significant milestone in bringing an important part of our region’s water supply back online for good,” said Matt Jordan, General Manager at Tampa Bay Water. “If Mother Nature cooperates, we’ll be in good shape going into the 2015 dry season with additional water supply.”
The reservoir was able to hit the halfway mark even as the final stages of construction on the facility come to a close. This is because the renovation was constructed from the bottom up, allowing the reservoir to begin refilling while construction finishes along the top of the reservoir.
Even with a drier than normal summer, the rivers kept flowing enough to store water in the reservoir. The refilling was helped along by recent rainfall, and Tampa Bay Water was able to pump at permitted capacity from the Alafia River and the Tampa Bypass Canal.
As for when the reservoir will be filled to its 15.5 billion-gallon capacity?
“We are working with the FDEP to get the reservoir into operation this fall,” said Charles Carden, chief operating officer at Tampa Bay Water. “We hope to have a full reservoir by next summer.”