Water-Related News

Projects could help save the future of water in Polk County

“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink … ”

We all remember that quote from the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner we had to memorize in school, but it’s becoming a very real possibility to those who look into Polk County’s future.

To forestall that ominous possibility, the Polk County Regional Water Cooperative has identified three major water projects that could stave off that ‘not a drop to drink’ for eons. The three projects include new well fields in Frostproof and northwest Lakeland and the third, one the city of Winter Haven has already done the planning for — damming parts of Peace Creek to create reservoirs to recharge the aquifer.

All told, the three projects will cost more than half a billion, yes, billion dollars. Most of that cost is for the building of treatment plants and water lines linking the remote well fields to facilities for distribution and additional treatment.

Winter Haven Assistant Utilities Services Director Mike Britt has been involved in developing the city’s project for years and was glad to see the water co-op tag the project for pursuing with the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Britt explained the project is a complicated one, but basically calls for damming parts of Peace Creek to allow former wetlands to return to their original states.