City of Tarpon Springs Reverse Osmosis Facility and Supply Systems
Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Award of Merit

Owner City of Tarpon Springs
Lead Design Firm Tetra Tech
General Contractor Wharton-Smith Inc.

Prior to this project, for more than a decade the city of Tarpon Springs, Fla., had been seeking to establish its own independent water supply instead of purchasing about 80% of its water from Pinellas County. This $36-million design-build project, delivered by the team of Wharton-Smith and Tetra Tech, included constructing a reverse osmosis water-treatment facility; outfitting 15 wells with pumps; and placing raw water transmission pipelines as well as a concentrate disposal pipeline.

The new facility works by reverse osmosis, transforming brackish water into as much as 6.4 million gallons of potable water for a community of some 25,000 residents. Building the facility required designers to create a system that could handle a wide range of water qualities and compensate for water that is either fresh or brackish. The scheme was engineered not only for the right pressures, but also for the right quality and volume.

Contractors also built an operations building that includes labs, offices, electrical rooms and a 5-million-gallon water storage tank. The project also included 31,500 linear ft of raw water and concentrate-disposal pipelines.