The Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Facility is getting $31.25 million from the Southwest Florida Water Management District after achieving goals in water treatment.
The funds had been promised to Tampa Bay Water, owner of the desalination plant, on the condition that it produce 25 million gallons of water a day for 120 days in a row. Additionally, the plant had to have shown an average of 20 million gallons of water over a 12 month period, according to a press release.
When it’s producing 25 million gallons of water a day, the plant is capable of providing 10 percent of the Tampa Bay area’s potable water needs.
Over the past two years, as production has ramped up, the plant has produced more than 18 billion gallons of water.
The plant is operated by American Water and Acciona Agua through the joint venture American Water — Acciona Agua LLC.
The plant, which is the largest in the U.S., has a troubled history. Three companies involved in its creation went bankrupt and there was a dispute in Federal courts over its ownership, according to Water-Technology.
It took six years longer than expected to complete the plant, which was put in place to reduce demand on the region’s aquifers.
Another major desalination plant is beginning construction in Carlsbad, Calif., reports the Telescope.