Construction is complete on Tampa’s new wastewater facility

The new structure is designed to save money, help efficiency, improve sustainability, and enhance safety.

Tampa's new wastewater facility sits under blue skies. The structure has three open stories with vehicles and pipes inside, and it is made of mostly metal and concrete.

The project is part of a citywide $2.9 billion infrastructure investment.

Photo by City of Tampa

The City of Tampa’s Wastewater Department just announced the completion of its new facility. The new Sludge Dewatering Building is intended to improve the efficiency, sustainability, and cost of the city’s wastewater treatment process.

Here’s what you need to know:

💰 The numbers

The $31.5 million project is part of Tampa’s PIPES (Progressive Infrastructure Plan to Ensure Sustainability) program, which was launched in 2019 by Mayor Jane Castor and her administration. The program has $2.9 billion lined up for water, sewer, and wastewater improvements, as well as funding adjustments to aid future work.

Upgrades and improvements through PIPES will help the Cigar City’s ~100-year-old water system, which serves ~700,000 people. The new facility is 15,000+ sqft, and is set to save the city $500,000 annually on operational costs alone. Let’s find out how.

🤔 How it works

Simply put, the Sludge Dewatering Building, which does exactly what it says. Bear with us here.

Sludge is a term used to describe the solid matter left over after sewage water is treated + removed. Also known as biosolids, this matter is sent to EPA-approved sites for agricultural use, such as fertilizer. This process reduces the need for and use of landfills.

Tampa’s new facility has state-of-the-art technology with the capacity to remove more water than before, meaning the resulting sludge is smaller + weighs less, making it less costly to transport.

So the city is benefitting from the project, but so are you.

👍 It’s all about you

Officials say the facility will decrease the city’s material agricultural purchases, such as inorganic fertilizers and mined phosphate. In turn, this means our area’s soil will contain more organic + natural materials, which is meant to improve soil quality.

The department has several other projects in the pipeline too. The rehabilitation of the Main Pumping station is under way, which will raise electrical control panels an extra 15 ft up, helping lower the risk of electrical outage in times of storm, flooding, and hurricane.