Title: Letter to Commissioner Johnson re: Water Supply Study of Sarasota County, Dated Oct 27, 1978
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004233/00001
 Material Information
Title: Letter to Commissioner Johnson re: Water Supply Study of Sarasota County, Dated Oct 27, 1978
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Letter to Commissioner Johnson re: Water Supply Study of Sarasota County, Dated Oct 27, 1978 (JDV Box 43)
General Note: Box 18, Folder 5 ( Pamphlets, Books, Articles, etc - 1960s & 1970s ), Item 17
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004233
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


133 South'Mcintosh Road
Mail: P. 0. Box 4069
Sarasota, Florida 33578
Telephone (813) 371-3690

October 27, 1978

*1 ,

Commissioner Ed Johnson
Route 3, Box 931
Arcadia, FL 33821

Subject: Water Supply Study

Our Ref: 1241-3

Dear Commissioner Johnson:

This is being sent to you at the request of Chairman Sandegren, of our
Board of County Commissioners.

If you have any questions on this report, I would be very happy to answer
them. I get over your way occasionally and would be glad to stop in to
discuss it.

Yours very truly,

Donald J. Smally, P.E.

Consulting Engineers and Surveyors


cc: Mr. Andrew Sandegren, w/copy of report







P.O. BOX a
PHONE. *13/3S-1000


TO: Board of County Commissioners

FROM: County Administrator

DATE: October 6, 1978

SUBJECT: Water Supply Study

Attached is a report prepared by my office, staff, our consultants,
and representation from the Chamber of Commerce.


I" .-


At the behest of the Board of County Commissioners, following concerns over

present and future water supplies, the County Administrator's office and

staff has looked into the matter and issues this report.

It is reasonable and proper to state that there exists an overwhelming need

to proceed without delay with the development of potable water supply and

services on a countywide basis. Sarasota County, in common with much of the

State of Florida, has experienced an influx of new residents that has placed

a strain on the capacity of it -r noures to asorb them. Many of these

people settle outside of existing municipalities and are turning to County

government for the furnishing of urban type services.

Rise in population has been of primary concern for many years. There has

been a reluctancy to embark on large scale countywide facilities because of

fears that this may have a tendency to encourage growth. It is our assessment

at this point that contrary to this philosophy, properly planned utilities,

particularly relating to water resources and the management thereof, coupled

with land use controls, can be a major factor in directing and controlling
--------- -

The franchised water systems operating in the county are serving their purpose

to a degree. They have limitations, especially as to being able to furnish

good quality water. In the northern part of the county, Special Utility

District No. 1 CSUD #1) furnishes bulk water to the franchises, but in the

balance of the county each franchise is on its own to develop water supplies.

The City of Venice is now forced to demineralize its well water by the costly

reverse osmosis process. The Englewood Water District wells cannot supply

present demands due to deterioration of well water quality. The several

franchises are distributing poor quality water or are using expensive treatment

processes. Those persons using individual wells are drinking poor quality

water. North Port is utilizing surface water of good quality.

The County has at its disposal a vast amount of data that has been developed

over a period of many years from which reasonable and practical water supply

solutions can be developed. Of particular applicability is the Master Plan

prepared by our Joint Venture engineers in 1971, their study of the Central

County Area, and their population projections and other data developed under

the 201 Facilities Plan for Sarasota County. Other valuable applicable data

is described in the Manasota Literature Assessment Study prepared'by our

engineers in June of 1977 on behalf of the Board and SWFWMD. A broad range

of information is obtainable therefrom. Additionally, SIFWMD has recently

conducted studies and is continuing to work on the problem. The U.S. Geological

Survey (JSGS) has been collecting data on water resources for many years.

Numerous discussions have been held with both SWFWMD and USGS representatives.

A review of all this data points out that the County can ill afford not to

embark on a program of developing water resources for all of Sarasota County at

the earliest possible date. The timetable presented in this report indicates

that even if action were initiated today, a system to serve our needs could not

be operational until 1983, five years hence. By that time, present water quality

problems will be further complicated by quantity problems to serve inevitable


In 1970 Sarasota County had a population of about 120,000. Presently there are
approximately 210,000 people within the county and some agencies predict as higb
approximately 210,000 people within the county and some agencies predict as high

as 500,000 by the year 2000. As noted, everyone in the coastal strip living

south of Vamo is served by individual wells or small central systems utilizing

local wells. Mostly the water quality is poor and growth will cause it to get

worse. The need for securing good water then is twofold; first, to give present

citizens decent water and, second, to plan for inevitable growth. Planning for

the growth involves properly assessing newcomers for.their proper share of the

cost to develop water supplies to serve them. Water supply needs are based on

the following projections obtained from data developed by our engineers and

SWFWMD. The needs shown are over and above present City of Sarasota known

supplies, the SUD #1 10 million gallons per day \IGD) from Manatee County, and

the SUD #1 4 MGD contemplated to be supplied by the City of Sarasota.

Average Maximum
Year 2000 Daily Flow Daily Flow

Existing Franchised, District
and Municipal Systems 12.0 18.0

New Franchised and
District Systems 6.0 9.0
18.0 27,0

Year 2020.

Existing Franchised, District
and Municipal Systems 20.0 30.0

New Franchised and
District Systems 12.0 18.0
32.0 48.0

Following are recommendations as to what must be done quickly and efficiently

to meet the County's present and future needs. These are conceptual in nature

and are offered for the Board's use in formulating specific plans of action.


Following the Master Plan prepared by our Joint Venture engineers in 1971

and adopted by the Board as the County's guide to utilities development and

management, the County was divided into specific geographically defined

service areas.

This plan precipitated the development by referendum of SUD #1 and the

improvements therein.

As an immediate program and as a short-range solution, water supply up to

10 MGD was obtained from the Manatee reservoir. This arrangement was

classified as short range because it cannot be considered for the overall

needs of the County and in fact does not meet the total ultimate needs of

SUD #1.

When SUD #1 was formed and arrangements with Manatee County for water were

concluded, it was recommended that the County proceed with a search for its

own long-range water supply. Unfortunately, other pressing matters took

precedence at that time. Five years have elapsed. It is time to act.

1. Utility Districts

Although there are other means of entering into the utility business and in

which residents of Sarasota County may still have a voice, the current concept

of creating additional service areas through formation of additional special

utility districts, appears to be the logical progression at this time.

Their function, however, would be limited to the distribution and sale of

water on a retail or bulk basis, with interconnects to municipalities and other

entities engaged in the water business and located near each district.


Each district would become a bulk customer of a countywide supply, treatment

and transmission network as described below.

The cost of improvements within each district (distribution lines) would be

accomplished on the basis of special assessments and revenue financing.

2. Countywide Water Supply, Treatment and Transmission Systems

Supply Sources

AAs a long-range solution, it appears that the Peace River is the most logical,

reliable source of supply. This conclusion has the concurrence of SWFWMD and

our engineers. There is an immediate need to develop supplies for those

presently drinking sub-standard water. This can best be accomplished by

developing supplies within the geographic boundaries of Sarasota County.

Some possible supplies within the county are as follows:

A. Surface ater--

(1) Myakka River

C2) Cowpen Slough

B. Ground Water

C1) Floridan Aquifer

C2) Water Table Aquifer

A phased approach is in order. Initially a program to develop perhaps 10 MGD

should be undertaken. In parallel with this action, discussion with Charlotte

and De Soto Counties should be started. The creation of a tri-county water

supply authority appears to be the logical vehicle for development of the Peace

River supply. SWFWMD concurs in this approach and is ready, willing and able

to aid in the creation of such an authority.


As to the initial Sarasota County effort, it would appear that a ground water

supply utilizing well fields drawing from the Floridan Aquifer might be a

logical first step. Transmission lines from a well field in eastern Sarasota

County might also be utilized for a connection to the Peace River. At the same

time, efforts leading to development of a second phase supply from surface water

should be undertaken. Continuing programs to develop more surface water and/or

water table aquifers should be going on concurrently. The planning for utilizing

the Peace River water should also be undertaken so that water from that source

is available when needed. It is assumed that construction of treatment facilities

would be staged as needed and to fit the raw water/treated water chemical

configuration being utilized.

A possible 4-phase program is shown on the attached area map. Each phase might

supply 10 MGD which could meet needs through the year 2020. The supply,

storage, treatment and transmission facilities would serve all of Sarasota

County, exclusive of the City of Sarasota. SUD #1 needs beyond 14 MGD would

be supplied.

It is envisioned that the City of Venice and the Englewood Water District would

probably become bulk customers of the County because of either relatively high

production costs or unstable water sources.

Since benefits from the facilities would be almost countywide, it is suggested

that the initial cost of capital improvements for water supply be accomplished

through the issuance of general obligation bonds. The millage to be levied

would be countywide, exclusive of the City of Sarasota. Maintenance and

operating costs would be obtained from water sales to each district or bulk

customer. As demand goes up, newcomers would be charged appropriate impact-type

fees to generate funds necessary to expand the system to serve them.

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Franchised operators would continue with their operations and would become

bulk customers as is currently the case in SUD #1. Existing wells and

treatment plants would be phased out.


The above program will require several major steps for implementation.

Studies to determine which sources are available as to quality, quantity and

cost are the first requirement for embarking on specific programs. Available

data must be supplemented with further investigations. Financing must also

be looked into. These engineering and fiscal studies should take 4 to 6 months.

Upon completion of the studies and preparation of a report, the Board should be

able to make the decision necessary to formally set the program in motion. A

possible timetable for the program is envisioned as follows:

October 1978 March 1979

April 1979 October 1979

November 1979

December 1979 June 1981

July 1981 September 1981

October 1981 June 1983

- Engineering and financial studies

- Well prospecting, land acquisition

studies, final project scope determination

S Referendum for creation of supply

entity and new distribution districts

S Engineering design and preparation of

construction plans, land acquisition

S Approvals, bidding processes, bond


S Construction

Commence operation

July 1983

I* *


Attached is a graphic portrayal of the above which includes parallel programs

to develop a surface water supply in the County and the Peace River supply.


In view of the demonstrated need to upgrade the quality and quantity of existing

water supplies, it is imperative that steps be taken to get a water program under

way. Initial steps should consist of engineering and financing studies of the

several alternative water supplies available, and approaches to distribution of

treated water to present and future bulk and retail users. Following the

studies, definitive actions can be taken. The following steps are recommended.

1. Adoption by the Board of the concept outlined.

2. Continuation of County efforts to secure 4 MGD from the City of Sarasota

for SUD #1 to supplement the 10 MGD now contracted for with Manatee County.

3. Commencement by the County of negotiation with De Soto and Charlotte Counties

to create a tri-county water authority. This should be in conjunction with


4. Authorize our consulting engineers to proceed with detailed studies on

alternative water supplies. Quantity, quality, environmental constraints,

and legal availability should be analyzed, as well as capital and operating

costs, for surface and underground supplies in Sarasota County and the

Peace River source.

5. Authorize County fiscal advisors to work with the engineers to recommend

financing and fiscal policy for present and proposed water projects.

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