Sarasota County breaks ground on Bee Ridge Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant conversion
SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County has broken ground on the
Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility (BRWRF) project that will upgrade its function to an Advanced Wastewater Treatment process.
The project, which is tentatively set to be completed in 2025, will remove more phosphorus and nitrogen from the reclaimed water, providing further protection for bays, estuaries and more. It will also increase the facility's daily treatment capacity from 12 million gallons per day to 18 million gallons.
Protecting and enhancing water quality continues to be a priority for the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners (BCC), who unanimously approved the project in 2019. At $210 million, it's also the highest valued capital improvement project in Sarasota County's history.
"Infrastructure funding is crucial for our growing community, and this project showcases how important that effort truly is," said County Commission Chairman Alan Maio.
Sarasota County was also awarded a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan by the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an approximately $105 million to fund about half of the enhancements to the facility, including AWT.
Due to the county's financial stability, the interest rate on the loan is a low 1.84 percent and will save nearly $10 million from the original projection. In addition, Sarasota County was one of only 55 communities nationwide selected to receive these funds.
"It shows that the EPA believes in this project, and we value their partnership," Maio added.
According to Public Utilities' Director Mike Mylett, this project will be the largest of its kind in Florida and demonstrates his department’s ongoing dedication to protecting the environment and providing world-class customer service.
"This is a huge step forward in protecting water quality for our community," Mylett said.
The BRWRF project is one of three water reclamation facilities the BCC committed to upgrading to the AWT process by pledging over $500 million to protecting water quality. The Venice Gardens Reclaimed Water Facility will be the first to start that process, followed by the Central County Water Reclamation Facility.
For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at (941) 861-5000 or visit scgov.net.