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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jul. 8, 2009 8 years ago

Town water receives top scores

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Note to Longboaters: Your drinking water is safe.

The 2008 Drinking Water Quality Summary that was sent to town residents last month reported high scores for the island’s water, which comes from Manatee County.

The water — on which the Longboat Key Public Works Department performs supplemental laboratory tests on a monthly basis — is also bacteria free.

The town collected four additional water samples in 2008 compared to 2007, for a total of 151 water samples. Every sample conducted was absent of bacteria.

The town was also due for its three-year check for lead and copper contaminants, which can corrode household plumbing. The test, performed in August 2008, showed that 20 samples taken from the water revealed that lead and copper levels fall between Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

An asbestos cement-pipeline test, which is conducted every five years, showed in 2004 that a small portion of the town’s pipelines that have asbestos cement pipes were less than 0.184 million fibers per liter, well beneath the maximum allowable level of 7 million fibers per liter.

The town purchases its potable water from Manatee County, where it is treated and made safe for consumption before delivery to the town.

Town engineer Anne Ross said the town only has a few parameters to follow because the water is already put through several tests.
Manatee County water is a blend of purified groundwater and purified surface water.

The Manatee County Water Purification Plant, located on the shores of Lake Manatee, purifies both groundwater and surface water. The groundwater is purified by aeration, lime softening and filtration processes. These processes remove odor, hardness and microbiological organisms.

Surface water received from Manatee County is purified by carbon absorption, coagulation, sedimentation and filtration. These processes remove odor, color and organisms.

The filtered water from the two sources is then combined, and the water is further enhanced before leaving the plant. Water is disinfected to destroy organisms and made less corrosive


Utility customers were sent a copy of the water report earlier this month, and the report can also be found on the town’s Web site at If you have any questions, call the Public Works Department at 316-1988.


In 2008, Longboat Key’s average daily consumption of water was 1.83 million gallons per day, compared to 1.87 million gallons per day in 2007 and 1.91 million gallons per day in 2006.

That’s good news, because the town spends $1.30 for every 1,000 gallons of Manatee County potable water it receives for up to 2.5 million gallons of water per day.

But, if the town goes over the 2.5 million mark, it has to spend an additional $2.60 per 1,000 gallons of water for anything over 2.5 million gallons. In addition, any 1,000 gallons of water per day over 3 million gallons costs the town $4.54 per 1,000 gallons of water.

The penalties have added up over the years.
In 2003, the town chalked up 114 penalty days that cost $152,000 in fees. And in 2004, those penalty costs rose to $285,000.

But a water-conservation grant the town received through the Southwest Florida Water Management District in 2005 allowed town engineer Anne Ross to buy water-conservation kits and equipment that it can give to residents.

The results led to 59 penalty days and $22,000 in penalty costs for 2005; 56 penalty days resulting in $21,000 in penalties for 2006; and 57 penalty days for $16,000 in penalty costs for 2007.

And in 2008, while in the midst of a drought, the town amassed only 34 penalty days that resulted in $6,300 worth of fines.


At its Monday, July 6, regular meeting the Town Commission:

• The approval of Dr. Steven Newman’s medical director contract with the town of Longboat Key for another three years. The town will pay Newman $25,000 in 2010, $25,750 in 2011 and $26,522 in 2012. The town uses Newman’s license to perform fire-rescue paramedic work.

• The approval of a submerged lands easement from the state, which is needed as part of the permitting process for the town’s emergency water interconnect for city of Sarasota water.

• Early retirement incentive ordinances for eligible town firefighters, police officers and general employees in order to reduce expenses in the 2009-10 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

• Resolutions that complete the required documentation for approval of a bank-qualified loan and a state revolving fund loan application for town water-and-wastewater, capital-improvement projects.

• A resolution that allows the town to apply for a state revolving fund loan for the $1.3 million mid-Key pump station rehabilitation project and future potable waterpipe upsizing projects.

• A resolution for a $10,000 budget transfer from commission contingency funds to begin implementation of the Longboat Key Fire Rescue Volunteer Fire Department File of Life program.


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