EAST COUNTY — Improvements to Manatee County’s Southeast Water Reclamation Facility and Lena Road Landfill, in the East County, soon could be official.
Although the county has multiple projects to be designed and constructed within fiscal years 2013 through 2015, improvements are not shown on the site’s general-development plan.
Manatee County commissioners are set to vote on the revised general-development plan Aug. 8. The Manatee County Planning Commission recommended approval, during its June 13 meeting.
An important project in the amendment is the addition of a 10 million-gallon tank and high-service pump station associated with the Manatee County Agricultural Reuse System, called MARS. It will allow the county to service the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch farm operation and to supply reclaimed water to the southeast service area.
Jeff Goodwin, wastewater division manager, said the county’s southwest plant already has two 10 million-gallon tanks, but this tank will be the first of its size at the Southeast Water Reclamation Facility location, south of State Road 64 off Lena Road.
“There’s no above-ground storage tank at the Lena Road facility; it’s all in the lakes,” Goodwin said. “Ten million gallons sounds like a lot but, really and truly, for a system as large as ours, it’s not. This (new tank) allows us to have better control of the distribution of our reclaimed water. It’s a supplement, too. We are dependent on the lakes. We have hundreds of millions of gallons in these lakes.
“Our consultant who developed our reclaimed master plan has recommended two additional tanks over the next several years,” he said.
Buildings associated with the landfill also are located on or planned for the site. The plan shows the addition of a customer-service center, scale house office space and storage, a household hazardous-waste storage building and a landfill-operations and storage building, public restrooms and a landfill-cell preparation area.
Goodwin said some items seen on the plan are expansions, because the county expects growth in the East County area to pick up again. The planned changes will allow the county to handle the extra flows received from new development.
The county also is constructing a gas-electric generator toward the northwest corner of its 1,169-acre site. Once finished, it will allow the county to use gas from the landfill to power the water-reclamation facility, Goodwin said.
“That should be done some time in 2014, possibly by the spring,” Goodwin said. “Obviously, we’ll be realizing a tremendous energy saving, and that allows us to keep our rates down for customers.”
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