Sustainability of our Clean, Safe Water



The Utilities Commission shares the concerns of our customers and is required to support sustainable life essential utility services; hence the U.C.’s comprehensive, ongoing utility system planning.

The U.C.’s Western Utilities Complex site is an invaluable system advantage toward supporting all of the U.C.’s utility services within our service territory, electric and water resources, as a location for existing and planned utility infrastructure.

The site was originally obtained through different eminent domain actions by the U.C. with the first being to relocate the Wastewater Plant that had been directly adjacent to the Indian River, and had been operating on the North Causeway since 1965. The second property acquisition was to allow for additional required and planned utility system expansions. Efforts are continuing by U.C. staff to be the best stewards possible on this site in support of our public utility services.

The synergy afforded on this one site for potable water (a wellfield is also in operation on this property), domestic wastewater treatment and recycling effluent as reclaimed water supplies will enable cost containment and optimal management of these interrelated disciplines so that customer costs do not escalate as they would if we had them operating at different and isolated geographic locations.

Specifically, a planned, soon-to-come 200 acre reclaimed water storage and recovery pond will not only provide public access reuse to all the new developments west of Sugar Mill Drive (to reduce potable water demands), but also enable the UC to capture approximately 60” of rain each year. That rain harvesting equates to over 65 million gallons of additional irrigation water every year. A new potable water booster station will be optimally positioned here to provide fire service to this whole new western development area, and will be then retrofitted with membranes to treat lower Floridan brackish water, our next “block” of potable water in the future. The mineralized concentrate from the planned Reverse Osmosis water plant will be blended in the 200 acre pond and then further diluted in the Water Reclamation Facility’s effluent to become even more reclaimed water for irrigation. This state of the art project was approved by SJRWMD as our Alternative Water Supply Project through the construction of a deep, Lower Floridan Aquifer brackish water well and extensive testing with subsequent reporting/conceptual design submittal 5 years ago, which has enabled the UC to stand completely prepared for all of our future potable water supply needs. In addition, this property is planned for the final expansion of the WRF around 2025, when it will be required due to growth.

Desalination is commonly known as a separation process used to reduce the dissolved salt and mineral content of sea water to a usable level. Very expensive process, extremely high energy use associated therewith and produces a very saline concentrate, which is very difficult and expensive to dispose of. Years ago the Swoope site was proposed as a potential location for a desalination plant. The economy of this plan was determined to be not “cost feasible”. Specifically, this site was determined the highest construction cost and least desirable site of those explored due to its direct exposure to storm surges. Concentrate disposal into the inlet area (potential creation of a kill zone for fish and invertebrate larvae) was unlikely to be permitted by regulatory officials and another reason that after a complete review by UC staff, this site was defined as not a good option for our alternative water supply project.

Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis refers to desalination of water with a lower salt and mineral content than sea water, and the process requires lower pressures and less energy. To support expansion of the U.C.’s existing Water Plant on Glencoe, a Reverse Osmosis Water Plant is existing within the U.C.’s Master Plans (10 year planning with last update in 2016). This plant is planned to be located on the UC’s Western Utilities Complex (existing property asset and infrastructure and adjacent to supply source).