May 1, 1979
Section 21 Well Field,
City of St. Petersburg
FILED IN FILE OF -
RECORD PJWMD >
C^^z -B N.r y-
The City of St. Petersburg purchased the Pinellas Water
Company including approximately 600 acres of Section 21.
The City of St. Petersburg developed and placed a well
field into operation on the Section 21 property.
The need for regulation of the City of St. Petersburg's
South Pasco, Cosme-Odessa, and Section 21 well fields,
established during Public hearings held in December
1971 and January 1972, led the Board of Governors of the
Southwest Florida Water Management District to issue
Order No. 72-1 establishing potentiometric surface
regulatory levels for the Cosme-Odessa and Section .21
The Board of Governors of the Southwest Florida Water
Management District, by Order No. 73-10, declared that
a water shortage existed within an area of the south
three miles of Pasco County and the north eight miles
of Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties lying between
State Road 55 (U.S. 19) and State Road 45 (U.S. 41).
Due to a still existing water shortage, the Southwest
Florida Water Management District entered Order No.
73-5D requiring that withdrawals of water in Section
21 be limited to staff recommended potentiometric.
levels and that water conserving practices be immediately
constituted in the water shortage area.
At the regular public hearing, Order No. 73-6R was
entered which established in addition to existing re-
gulatory monitor levels, a gallonage cap upon the Section
21 and Cosme-Odessa well fields so that the total
maximum withdrawals from the combined well fields
could not exceed 168 million gallons per week non-
cumalative, with production reasonably balanced between
the two well fields.
The Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water
Management District issued Order No. 74-11R amending
Order No. 72-1 and extending a hearing date to consider
establishing monitor levels for the shallow aquifer in
the well field from August 10 to August 14, 1974.
Order No. 74-34 was entered at the Southwest Florida
Water Management District public hearing amending Orders
No. 73-5D, 72-1, and 73-6R. This Order called for the
City-of St. Petersburg to require water conserving devices
on all new construction based on the availability of the
A program for issuance of permits authorizing the consump-
tive use of water was implemented commencing January 1,
1975. Existing users prior to January 1, 1975 were
allowed to be continued through December 31, 1976 without
a Consumptive Use Permit.
The City of St. Petersburg applied for a permit for public
water supply at an existing use of 9 mgd and new use
of 18 mgd from 6 wells located in Section 21, Hillsborough
County for off-site consumption. Quantities applied for
WN SYStEM ENTRY REQUIRED
May 1, 1979
Section 21 Well
The City of St. Petersburg sold 16 acres of its property
in Section 21 to the Tampa Electric Company. The Tampa
Electric Company inturn, conveyed all of the water rights
under certain TECO properties adjacent to the City of
St. Petersburg's Section 21 property bringing the total of
City owned or controlled properties in Section 21 to 675 acres.
The first public hearing on the Section 21 Well Field was
held at the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
In addition to the requested quantities, the applicant
requested that the existing regulatory levels be maintained,
that the pumping cap be removed, and that a 5 foot variance
in the regulatory levels be allowed as opposed to the
3 foot variance set forth in Order No. 73-6R. Since the
application did not refer to the desired quantities of water
or the removal of the pumping cap, the hearing was scheduled
for continuation on February 18, 1976.
At the continued Section 21 hearing, Application No. 7500003
was approved under the same regulations which the City of
St. Petersburg had been operating under through Order No.
73-6R with one exception. During 1976, the City would be
allowed to exceed the 168 million gallons a week cap in
connectionwith the Cosme-Odessa well field, by up to
21 million gallons per week during any six weeks with all
production to be reasonably balanced between the two well
fields. The permit was set to expire on December 31, 1980.
The Governing Board of the Southwest
District issued Final-Order No. 76-1
No. 7500003, Section 21, City of St.
Florida Water Management
for Permit Application
Permit No. 7500003 was mailed to the City of St. Petersburg
under Order No. 76-1 by the Governing Board of the Southwest
Florida Water Management District. The combined withdrawals
for six wells were authorized at 18 mgd average annual and
22 mgd maximum daily with a condition reading, "The total
maximum withdrawal from the Section 21 and Cosme-Odessa Well
Fields shall not exceed 168 million gallons per week, which
amount shall not be figured cumulatively; provided that
during any six (6) weeks in the production year 1975, the
City can pump an additional 21 million gallons per week in
excess of the 168 million gallons per week. However, all
production by the City shall be reasonably balanced between
the two well fields.".
The Regulatory constraints of Chapter 16J were met with the
exception that the proposed withdrawals would cause a
drawdown of the potentiometric surface at the boundaries
of the applicants well field by more than five feet. The
amount of water consumptively used would exceed the water
crop by 2667% based on the availability of 675,000 gpd.
The City of St. Petersburg filed a petition for a Writ
of Certiorari with the Second District Court of Appeals to
review the Southwest Florida Water Management District final
orders and permits. The City of St. Petersburg sought author-
ization to withdraw quantities of water at Section 21 well
field based on regulatory levels rather than gallonage caps
permitted for withdrawal by the Southwest Florida Water
Management District. The petitioner also sought to demonstrate
the regulatory levels were based on the water crop theory;
the water crop theory being in derogation of Chapter 373,
maximum use of the water resource, and the water crop theory
limiting withdrawals to the amount of property under control
by the applicant.
May 1, 1979
Section 21 Well
October 1977 The Second District Court of Appeals upheld the decisions
of the Southwest Florida Water Management District
because the City of St. Petersburg failed to show that
the regulatory levels of the aquifer, as set by the
District, were established by other than reference to the
test of significant harm to the water resources of the
area. The City of St. Petersburg then petition to the
District Court of Appeals for a rehearing and asked that
the case be referred to the Florida Supreme Court.
November 1977 The Second District Court of Appeals denied the petition
for a rehearing.
January 1978 The City of St. Petersburg filed a petition for a Writ
--- of Certiorari with the Florida Supreme Court-and also
filed a petition for the Court to exercise jurisdiction
in the matter.
March 1978 The Florida Supreme Court denied a motion to take jurisdiction
in the matter.
January 1979 The Florida Supreme Court entered an Order denying the
City of St. Petersburg's petition for a Writ of Certiorari.
This final dismissal exhausted the judicial avenues for
the City to petition the Southwest Florida Water Management
District's permitting decisions for Section 21 Well Field.