BROOKSVILLE — County commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved a $24.5 million project that will expand the wastewater treatment plant at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.
Seven companies submitted proposals for the project and staff determined that Garney Companies, Inc. of Winter Garden, submitted the lowest, responsive, and responsible bid.
The airport water reclamation facility improvement project has been in planned for years and has been highly anticipated by people who live near U.S. 19 and Osowaw Boulevard and have had to endure foul odors from the old wastewater treatment plant there.
When the airport treatment plant is expanded, Hernando County will divert the wastewater — via underground pipes down County Line Road — to the new site and take the Osowaw plant offline.
The Spring Hill wastewater treatment plant was built in 1969. The age of the plant combined with the high volume of waste treated at the facility contribute to the odor problem.
The smell notwithstanding, the Osowaw plant is old, antiquated, has had pipe breaks and is in a storm surge area.
In a related vote, commissioners approved a $39,826 contract with Professional Service Industries to provide engineering services for the plant for an initial three years.
The board also approved a $1.29 million contract with Cardno TBE for project management and oversight.
Environmental Services Director Susan Goebel-Canning said Tuesday the existing airport plant has a capacity of 1 million gallons per day and is operating at 75 percent capacity. The expansion will be done in two phases, with the first adding 2.5 million gallons per day.
The first phase is expected to be completed in the fall or winter of 2016, she said.
Goebel-Canning said the second phase would add another 2.5 million gallons of capacity but that would not be built until the need exists.
“What we’re doing is taking the flows that are located at the Osowaw plant (and) most of the flow will go to this airport facility,” she said.
Some of the flow would go to the Glen plant, located near the U.S. 19 and Osowaw area.