| Material Information
||Pinellas bid for well field renews water war
||Newspaper article in St. Petersburg Times Nov. 13, 1975, by Lucy Ware Morgan. "Pinellas bid for well field renews water war."
||Morgan, Lucy Ware ( Author )
||Nov. 13, 1975
||North America -- United States of America -- Florida
||Box 3, Folder 3D ( LEGISLATION - BOX 3, FOLDER 3 ), Item 152
||Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
F nellas .. '
bid for -
Soi4 water war
By LUCY WARE MORGAN .
St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer
kgt ^ .. .. YBROOKSVILLE
*:P44 .. The fragile truce between Tampa Bay
... .* area governments exploded into a renewed i
water war Wednesday as Hillsborough ,
County lined up against Pinellas county's
efforts to open a new wellfield east of Lake
Tarpon near the Hillsborough County line.
The Hillsborough County Commission
bolstered by support from its legislative
delegation strongly denounced Pinellas
County for its failure to adequately limit
growth and urged the Southwest Florida
Water Management District to reject a Pi-
nellas request for a wellfield permit.
Hillsborough officials contend that the
proposed wellfield would increase saltwater
intrusion in an already damaged area and
adversely affect other wellfields and land-
owners in northwest Hillsborough.
Clint Brown, Hillsborough County's at-
.torney for water resource issues, led the de-
bate against Pinellas, saying approval of
the wellfield would "reopen the range war
and send us back to the trenches to slug it
The dispute put St. Petersburg officials
longtime allies of Pinellas County in wa-
ter wars in an unusual position since the
city's Cosme-Odessa wellfield also may be
adversely affected by the county's new East
Lake Tarpon wellfield.
St. Petersburg Mayor Charles Schuh
said the city is "a little leery" of the new
wellfield because of possible effects on
St. Petersburg Water Director William
Duynslager said the city would not oppose
S the county's permit request "if there is |
surplus water in the area."
Duynslager said the city faces possible
reduction in the amount of water it takes i
from Cosme-Odessa. He said the city could j
lose as much as 1-million gallons a day if
the influence of the county's wellfield is se-
rious. The city currently pumps about 10-
million gallons a day at Cosme-Odessa.
Hillsborough County Commissioners i
Betty Castor and Bob Curry appeared at
the water district meeting, saying they left I
a quorum of their board in session in Tam- I
pa, to hand-deliver a resolution opposing I
approval of the new Pinellas wellfield.
Mrs. Castor said Hillsborough County
has constantly been asked to make conces-
sions while its neighbor (Pinellas) has not i
attempted to control its population density I
at all. !
"We implore you to have some consider-
ation for Hillsborough County and its cit- j
izens," she said. I
Curry vowed a "fight to the end" if it be-
Scomes necessary to protect the citizens of i
northwest Hillsborough County from fur- j
other property damage caused by wellfields.
"These citizens have suffered badly for
many years we can't afford any further
mistakes," Curry said.
State Sen. Julian Lane and State Reps.
Ed Blackburn, H. Lee Moffitt and Jim Fos-
ter also appeared at the meeting to support i
State Sen. Guy Spicola sent a strongly i
worded letter denouncing the wellfield and
accusing Pinellas County and St. Peters-
burg of a "breach of faith."
4 Spicola said he believes the county's
Plan for the new wellfield indicates that the
West Const Regioinal Water Supply Author- ,
\ ity created to enid witer disputes and I
jl/' .1 supply all governmental ageincics -- is not
/ ( working "because of te h bad faith on lhe [
i i\pat of.some of the paricipants."
,_ ___ ,.-----
Spicola said he plans, as chairman of the Senate's natu-
ral resources and conservation committee, to review the wa-
'ter district's actions and respond "with appropriate I
Water board members said they viewed Spicola's
comments as a threat.
f The Keystone Park Civic Association also appeared to
'denounce the wellfield plans, saying it is too close to other t
wellfields where saltwater intrusion has occurred.
S! Pinellas County officials said construction of the East
j Lake Tarpon wellfield was included as a provision of a 1973
agreement signed by Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas
counties, Tampa and 9t. Petersburg.
SBrown said the circumstances in 1973 when Pinellas
'County faced overwhelming growth and serious water
shortage have changed now because of the current depres-
sion in the building industry.
"Pinellas and Hillsborough County have time now to let
.the regional water authority work the supply authority
"will come unglued while we're scrapping over this," Brown
Pinellas County is seeking a wellfield permit that would
'allow it to use 4.7-million gallons a day from the East Lake
Tarpon wellfield while awaiting completion of pumping
tests on a second phase of the field.
The district had been close to approving a temporary
permit if the county complied with a series of testing
requirements and an agreement to stop pumping if salt wa-
ter intrusion increased beyond recommended levels. -
The negotiations collapsed Wednesday when the
district's legal staff questioned portions of an agreement Pi-
nellas County has for water rights to 4,700 acres adjacent to
the new wellfield.
Action on the permit was delayed until the board's next
meeting Dec. 10.
Several Hillsborough officials suggested that Pinellas
County conduct all the necessary tests at the new wellfield
'and then seek a permit if it can prove damage will not
occur to the area's water resources.
Pinellas County Water Director Pickens Talley said the
county is unwilling to risk a $100,000 investment at the well-
Tfield without some assurance it will get a permit if the tests
" indicate wells can be safely operated.
.t */ '