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Water-Related News

Sarasota County continues commitment to protecting water quality

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The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) continued their ongoing efforts to improve water quality by moving forward with upgrading the Venice Gardens and Central County water reclamation facilities to an advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) capacity.

The decision, which is part of the BCC’s ongoing commitment to protecting our water resources, will put those locations on a similar path with the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility (BRWRF), which has already begun its AWT conversion and expansion project.

According to Public Utilities Director Mike Mylett, the Venice Gardens location will be the first to start the AWT upgrade process in in 2022. The facility has reached the point of expansion, he added, and must be addressed first.

“This conversion will allow our Venice Gardens facility to not only improve the quality of water we’re treating, but also expand the treatment capacity of the facility from three to five million gallons a day,” Mylett said. “This expansion will provide treatment capacity for future septic system replacement projects in the southern Sarasota County.”

Upgrading both facilities is expected to cost approximately $224 million. The upgrades will be funded by planned utilities rate increases that will extend through 2027.

Design for Venice Gardens would begin in 2022, and approximately 2024 for Central County. While completion dates have not been finalized for each project, they are anticipated to be completed between five and eight years from their start.

Work on the BRWRF AWT and expansion project started in 2019. Upgrades include improvements to the treatment process of reclaimed water with reduced nutrients that meet AWT standards and expanding the capacity of the facility to treat 18 million gallons per day, a 50 percent increase over its current capacity. The project is projected to be completed in 2025.

For more information call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit scgov.net.