St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District
St. Johns River Water Management District -
Water supply

Alternative water supply projects

As part of its water supply planning program, the St. Johns River Water Management District assists water supply utilities and local governments in identifying and implementing alternative water supply projects to help meet future water demands.

Following is a summary of some of the major alternative water supply initiatives on which the District has participated or is working on with a variety of local government and utility partners. In addition to these, a complete list of projects and funding information can be found in the District’s Cooperative Funding Report.

Aerial view of the Taylor Creek Reservoir in Orange and Osceola counties

The Taylor Creek Reservoir in Orange and Osceola counties is used as a drinking water source by the city of Cocoa.

Taylor Creek Reservoir

The Taylor Creek Reservoir is located in Orange and Osceola counties near the St. Johns River and State Road 520. The reservoir was designed to provide flood water storage and water supply benefits in the drainage basin of the upper St. Johns River. The reservoir receives drainage from a 60-square-mile area. Water from the reservoir flows into Taylor Creek, which empties into the St. Johns River about 4.3 miles downstream. The city of Cocoa began using the reservoir for water supply in 1999, and is permitted to withdraw 8.8 million gallons per day (mgd) from the reservoir to supplement its groundwater sources. Water supply projects involving the Taylor Creek Reservoir include the following:

Taylor Creek Reservoir improvement project
The District is pursuing a project to change the current reservoir operating schedule and corresponding water levels, which range from 41 to 43 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD), to an operating schedule that would bring the water level in the reservoir to 46 feet NGVD. Raising the water level would increase the water supply yield from the reservoir without any supplemental diversions from the St. Johns River.

Enhanced Taylor Creek Reservoir project
Capitalizing on the potential increased yield from the Taylor Creek Reservoir improvement project, several utility partners are considering developing and using the additional water. The city of Cocoa is spearheading the effort, together with the city of Titusville, Orange County Utilities, Orlando Utilities Commission, Tohopekaliga (Toho) Water Authority and East Central Florida Services Inc. (ECFS) to increase potable (drinking) water supplies for these partners. Discussions on participation, quantity and timing began in 2010. Expected quantity will likely be in the 12 to 24 mgd range. While timing is still undecided, customer demands, economic conditions, permit and agreement conditions, and the Central Florida Water Initiative will all play a part in determining the project scope and schedule.

Aerial view of Lake Harney

An aerial view of Lake Harney.

State Road 46 in Seminole County

This project is a conceptual alternative water supply project identified in the Seminole County Water Supply Plan that was completed in March 2007. Seven central Florida local governments — Orange County and the cities of Casselberry, Deltona, Maitland, Oviedo, Sanford and Winter Springs — have discussed the project but have delayed the start of preliminary design work due to lower-than-anticipated growth in water demands.

Coquina Coast Seawater Desalination Project

In 2007, the District and all governments with water supply systems in Flagler County endorsed a countywide water supply plan that included seawater desalination as a potential alternative water supply project to pursue.

The first phase of investigating a desalination facility was completed in January 2010 and included:

  • Data collection and goal setting
  • Conceptual plant design
  • Preliminary permitting investigations
  • GIS analysis of site locations and for environmental and costing purposes
  • Recommended projects report (for phase one)

Partners for Phase 1 were the District; the Water Authority of Volusia; Marion, Flagler and St. Johns counties; Dunes Community Development District and the cities of Palm Coast, DeLand, Leesburg, Bunnell and Flagler Beach.

Phase 2 of the project investigation is being conducted in stages. The first stage, completed in 2011, included:

  • Treatment process pilot testing
  • Additional environmental assessments
  • Preliminary plant design
  • Developing cost estimates for plant construction and operations

Partners in this phase were the cities of Palm Coast, DeLand and Leesburg and St. Johns County.

Continuation of the project is on hold until 2014 or later.

The Coquina Coast project partners manage the project and additional information is available on the Coquina Coast Seawater Desalination Project web page.

Yankee Lake

This project involves the construction of a surface water treatment plant to treat water from the St. Johns River to augment reclaimed water and potable groundwater supply systems.

In April 2009, the District’s Governing Board approved a permit for Seminole County to withdraw up to 5.5 mgd (on an average annual basis), which includes:

  • Up to 1 mgd to augment its reclaimed water system by maximizing overall reuse of available reclaimed water in place of higher-quality groundwater
  • Up to 4.5 mgd starting in 2014 to supplement potable groundwater supplies that are approaching environmentally sustainable limits, as determined in recently adopted District rules for central Florida

Total project cost is estimated at $42.5 million, which includes cost-share funding from the District of $7.53 million.

A water storage tank is part of the reverse osmosis plant in St. Johns County

A water storage tank is part of the reverse osmosis plant in St. Johns County.

St. Johns County water supply project

This project was undertaken to avoid unacceptable wetland impacts in the vicinity of the St. Johns County Tillman Ridge wellfield. The project included construction of an estimated 8 mgd low-pressure reverse osmosis plant supplied by brackish (slightly salty) groundwater from the Floridan aquifer. This project expanded the Tillman Ridge wellfield by four new Floridan aquifer wells and provides a demineralized concentrate collection system.

Total project cost was $21.15 million with a $6.54 million cost-share grant from the District. The project was completed in October 2009.


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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922