GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The second phase of the wastewater system improvements in Green Cove Springs got underway Tuesday, with a groundbreaking at the Harbor Road Wastewater Treatment …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The second phase of the wastewater system improvements in Green Cove Springs got underway Tuesday, with a groundbreaking at the Harbor Road Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Officials from St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Mittauer & Associates, and Williams Industrial Services, LLC and members of the Green Cove Springs City Council also were also on hand.
“Green Cove Springs, for a smaller community, has been very progressive in their sustainable use of their water resources,” said Anne Shortelle, Executive Director of St. Johns River Water Management District. “Not only for water quality by keeping nutrients out of the St. John’s River and protecting our water quality, but also from the sustainable use of our groundwater, protecting our water supply. District is a proud sponsor with our cost-share dollars in collaboration with the community here in Green Cove Springs.”
The second of the three phases of the project entail new construction in addition to upgrades of the original wastewater system, with critical upgrades being the reduction of phosphorus and nitrogen that was previously being leaked into the St. John’s River.
There were several speakers at the ceremony, including Green Cove Springs Assistant City Manager Mike Null, Mayor Van Royal, Shortelle and Scott Schultz.
“Where a pipe came into the river from a wastewater treatment plant, they [Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency] determined what was an acceptable level of nitrogen and phosphorus discharge into the river,” said Schultz, Assistant Water Utilities Director for the city of Green Cove Springs. “As the older plants did not have the capacity to process the wastewater to levels acceptable to the environmental agencies and their guidelines, something had to be done.”
Instead of building a new plant, modifications were done to existing plants to meet the acceptable plants to buy time to figure out what to do. All of that led to Tuesday, the groundbreaking of the Advanced Wastewater nutrient removal facility.
“The new facility will reduce nutrient discharge into the St. Johns River, increase the utilization of reclaimed water and reduce the withdrawal of potable water from the Floridan Aquifer [city’s wells],” said Schultz.
After the speeches, attendees from the different organizations took pictures with the shovels in front of the new pink pipes and broke ground on the project.
The cost of this phase of the project is more than $15 million and is funded through multiple sources.
According to Schultz, it should be completed in about 18 months.