SMALL, WELLFORD & NALVEN, INC.
CONSULTING ENGINEERS AND SURVEYORS
133 South'Mcintosh Road
Mail: P. 0. Box 4069
Sarasota, Florida 33578
Telephone (813) 371-3690
October 27, 1978
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
Yours very truly,
Donald J. Smally, P.E.
For: SMALL, WELLFORD & NALVEN, INC.
Consulting Engineers and Surveyors
cc: Mr. Andrew Sandegren, w/copy of report
F L O R I D A
ANDREW SANDEGREN DISTRICT I
BEVERLY CLAY DISTRICT 2
JAMES D. NEVILLE DISTRICT 3
JOHN M. SABA. JR. DISTRICT 4
LARRY RHODES DISTRICT 5
ED MARONEY COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR
P.O. BOX a
SARASOTA. FLA. 33573
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.
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.
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
Existing Franchised, District
and Municipal Systems 20.0 30.0
New Franchised and
District Systems 12.0 18.0
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
This plan precipitated the development by referendum of SUD #1 and the
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
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
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
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
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
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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