The Lake Worth Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant
On October 21, 2009 a ground breaking ceremony for the ROWTP took place to celebrate the begining of this new chapter in Lake Worth's long history of providing the highest quality water to Lake Worth and some Palm Beach County area residents. This new ROWTP has been designed to meet Lake Worth's growing water supply needs well into the future.
This website has been setup to provide information on the Lake Worth Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant (ROWTP). The site will provide general information about the project and the project's status. Monthly updates will be posted here that include aerials and ground-level photography along with a brief description of the work being done at the project site.
Providing Safe Drinking Water
In 2001, Lake Worth completed a Safe Drinking Water Act Planning Study which identified short and long-term improvements necessary to maintain and further expand the treatment capabilities and production capacity of Lake Worth's water treatment plant. The study concluded that an additional water treatment process, such as reverse osmosis (RO), working with the existing lime-softening system, would facilitate compliance with future Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements. The high quality water produced from an RO process could be blended with the existing lime-softened water to improve overall quality and meet the SDWA requirements.
Following the 2001 drought, elevated chloride levels were detected in several of the Lake Worth's eight monitoring wells located between the surficial aquifer wellfield and the Intracoastal Waterway. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) expressed concern that Lake Worth's surficial aquifer wellfield was at risk of future salt-water intrusion. The SFWMD requested that Lake Worth prepare a long-term water supply plan to evaluate water supply alternatives that would decrease their dependence on the surficial aquifer. As a precaution, the SFWMD restricted the operation of certain wells in the eastern-most portion of Lake Worth's surficial aquifer wellfield.
In 2002, Lake Worth completed a Water Supply and Treatment Evaluation Report that considered a more westerly surficial aquifer wellfield as well as a deeper, brackish Floridan aquifer wellfield. The report concluded that the Floridan aquifer was the most cost effective source for additional water supply.
As a result, Lake Worth recently applied for and received a SFWMD Consumptive Use Permit and included a permit to withdrawal from both the Floridan and surficial aquifers.
Once the initial phase of the ROWTP construction is completed, its average daily flow will be approximately 3.0 million gallons per day (mgd) and 4.5 mgd on peak days. Water supplying the new plant will be taken from the Floridan aquifer, decreasing withdrawals from the surficial aquifer.
In preparation for the ROWTP, Lake Worth began implementing various ROWTP related projects starting in 2005. These projects included drilling three Floridan aquifer wells and installation of associated wellhead pumps, piping, backup power sources, and Floridan aquifer raw water transmission mains. A small-scale RO treatment plant, "RO pilot plant", was constructed and a pilot plant evaluation program was setup to help determine the requirements of the full scale ROWTP.