Tampa Bay reservoir $129 million renovation ramping up - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Tampa Bay reservoir $129 million renovation ramping up

Posted: Updated:
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa Bay Water's regional reservoir is just shy of 8 years old and heavy machinery is now ripping apart its inner walls to begin the process of repairing and preventing widespread cracking.

In February, Kiewit Infrastructure Group's hydraulic hammers began the enormous task of breaking up the soil cement lining the 5 miles of the Bill Young Regional Reservoir's interior walls.

Large excavators continue ripping up the soil cement, dozers push it down the dam's steep banks and enormous dump trucks haul it off.

"It's a lot of work," Tampa Bay Water's engineering support manager, Jonathan Kennedy said.

The fix, as it is called, requires gutting the interior walls, removing the soil cement, the dirt below it, called the soil wedge, and a PVC geomembrane that lines the walls preventing seepage.

"In many ways this is like disassembling a layer cake and there's a lot of work to get down to the core before they can start the reconstruction," Kennedy said.

The reconstruction begins with Kiewit installing a drainage system. A new geomembrane which is being made in Spain, will be added, along with a new soil wedge and thicker, stronger soil cement.

"It's as though you had a car engine with a leaking gasket and the gasket itself is a relatively minor repair but you have to disassemble the engine in order to get to it," Kennedy added.

The work will keep the reservoir, which supplies roughly half of the drinking water for the Tampa bay community, off line at least until the end of the summer of 2014. The reservoir renovation will cost water customers in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties $129 million dollars.

An 8 On Your Side investigation revealed in 2007 widespread cracking of the reservoir's soil cement. Video shot from Eagle 8 showed crews attempting repairs by pumping a cement-grout mixture into the cracking soil cement. Some of the cracks were 300 feet long.

At the time Tampa Bay Water project manager Amanda Rice indicated the repairs were nothing out of the ordinary.

"This is a route maintenance. Activity like this is conducted at all Tampa Bay Water facilities," Rice said.

The cracking turned out to be anything but routine. It spread and became worse. Gaps several inches wide and hundreds of feet long continued forming.

Repairs did not hold.

A portion of the soil cement lining the south wall collapsed. Tampa Bay Water insists the cracking never threatened the integrity of the reservoir's walls but did limit its ability to hold water.

At full capacity the reservoir holds 15.5 billion gallons of water.

Tampa Bay Water spent millions on repairs, investigating the cause and legal bills.

It determined the cracking was caused by water that became trapped in the soil wedge. During draw downs, water pressure would build up behind the soil cement and crack it.

The agency sued designer HDR Inc in federal court in 2012, claiming the company's reservoir design was flawed. A jury disagreed, saddling Tampa Bay Water with the cost of repairs.

"It's a $129 million dollar project which translates into a little over a dollar a month on the average bill," Kennedy said.

Kiewit is ramping up construction at the reservoir. It plans to have about 150 workers on site, working two shifts.

In order to increase efficiency, different stages of work will be going on in several areas of the facility.

Kennedy says Tampa Bay Water is shooting to put the reservoir back into partial service by the end of the summer of 2014.

"In order to do that (Kiewit's) going to be finishing the project from the bottom up so that we can get permission to put some water in the lower reaches while it finishes the construction of the upper reaches," he said.

Kennedy hopes to put about 8 billion gallons of water in the reservoir at that time, which would supply up to 90 million gallons of water a day to customers.

"The existing facility does not have a drain in its system, that was left out of the design, and by putting the drain into this design, we know that this project will be successful when it's complete," Kennedy said.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:28 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:28:18 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Ukraine official: city hall cleared of protesters

    Ukraine official: city hall cleared of protesters

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:54 AM EDT2014-04-24 08:54:54 GMT
    Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says police have cleared the city hall in a southeastern city of pro-Russian protesters who had been occupying it for over a week.
    Police have cleared the city hall in a southeastern Ukrainian city of the pro-Russia protesters who had been occupying it for over a week, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Thursday as government forces appeared to be...
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 foreign doctors

    Afghan hospital guard kills 3 foreign doctors

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:54 AM EDT2014-04-24 08:54:30 GMT
    Police in Afghanistan say a security guard has opened fire in a Kabul hospital, killing three foreigners and wounding one other person.
    An Afghan security guard opened fire on a group of doctors at a Kabul hospital on Thursday morning, killing three foreign physicians and wounding two other people, officials said.
  • Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

    Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:46 AM EDT2014-04-24 05:46:05 GMT
    Residents and emergency crews were waiting for a fire to burn itself out after an explosion at a natural gas processing plant in a small town in southwestern Wyoming.
    Residents and emergency crews were waiting for a fire to burn itself out after an explosion at a natural gas processing plant in a small town in southwestern Wyoming.
  • Fire at Saw Mill in Bedford County is under investigation

    Fire at Saw Mill in Bedford County is under investigation

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:55 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:55:50 GMT
    A fire ata saw mill in Bedford County is under investigation. It happened thisafternoon around 5 at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake on Centerville Road.Bedford County's Fire Chief says there were no injuries, but the owner estimates the damages at about $75,000The chief says thefire is still burning, and it will likely burn for a few days, but it is contained.The cause of the fire is unknown, butit's believed to be accidental.
    A fire ata saw mill in Bedford County is under investigation. It happened thisafternoon around 5 at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake on Centerville Road.Bedford County's Fire Chief says there were no injuries, but the owner estimates the damages at about $75,000The chief says thefire is still burning, and it will likely burn for a few days, but it is contained.The cause of the fire is unknown, butit's believed to be accidental.
  • 29 Virginia High Schools on Personal Finance Top-100 List

    29 Virginia High Schools on Personal Finance Top-100 List

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:32:06 GMT
    29 schools in the Commonwealth, including many in our area, ranked the the nation's top 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction.
    29 schools in the Commonwealth, including many in our area, ranked the the nation's top 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction.
  • Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-04-22 14:50:58 GMT
    Deputies were called to Double Oaks Lane in the Burnt Chimney community, where they found a seven-year-old boy with a gunshot wound.
    Deputies were called to Double Oaks Lane in the Burnt Chimney community, where they found a seven-year-old boy with a gunshot wound.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.