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a ST. PETERSBURG TIMES U THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1976
DEC 29 1976
Water boar mad, seek
Another Pasco wee ,fWied
By DAVID M. SNYDER
St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer
-CLEARWATER The West Coast Regional Water
Supply Authority, with one wellfield almost in its grasp,.
Wednesday set its sights on another water source for
thirsty residents in its three-county service area.
The authority, created to end inter-county water wars,
told its staff to study taking over the Starkey wellfield in
Central Pasco County. The Starkey wellfield and the Cy-
press Creek wellfield, another Central Pasco site that will
come under authority control Jan.1, could form the start of
a wellfield network to serve the water needs of Pinellas,
Pasco and Hillsborough counties, authority officials said.
"I think we've got an obligation to go after the Starkey
and any other wellfield ... No matter whether it drips out
10 gallons (of water) a day, we should pursue it," said
Charles Rainey, the authority's chairman and a Pinellas
The Starkey wellfield is owned by the Southwest Flori-
da Water Management District, commonly known as Swift-
mud, and operated by the City of New Port Richey. Under
a 1974 agreement, New Port Richey must turn over the
wellfield to the regional authority if the authority wants it.
"New Port Richey now can pump uip to 4-million gallons
a day from the wellfield, but the city's water consultants
say it could produce as much as 15-million gallons a day
without unacceptable environmental damage.
Louis de la Parte, the authority's attorney, said Swift-
mud may abandon a plan to charge a per-gallon fee for wa-
ter pumped from the wellfield if the regional authority
takes it over.
SThe authority, Pinellas County and the City of St. Pe-
S tersburg have opposed Swiftmud's per-gallon fee proposal,
calling it a dangerous precedent that could increase water
costs 10 per cent if universally applied.
Anticipating the transfer of Cypress Creek, the regional
authority approved a $370,000 budget for the wellfield's op-
eration, for January through October 1977.
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