BRADENTON -- The Bradenton City Council approved an agreement Wednesday with the Southwest Florida Water Management District to enhance the city's aquifer storage recovery well.
Bradenton was the first in the world to use the system, which removes trapped air from water before injecting it into the ASR well to avoid contamination. The state of Florida had stopped using ASR wells because free oxygen in the water caused possible arsenic contamination.
"It is setting a standard in Florida where everyone is concerned about the water supply," Mayor Wayne Poston said. "This is very innovative stuff."
ASR wells store extra drinking water for times of drought.
"When our supply exceeds our demand, we will inject it into the ASR well," said Claude Tankersley, director of public works and utilities. "Then when our demands exceeds our supply, we'll pull it back up."
The system removes all free oxygen through a reverse-osmosis-like process.
"Degas systems are not new, but the use of degas systems on such a large scale is new," Tankersley said.
In recognition of the pi
oneer city effort, SWFWMD agreed to reimburse the city fully for the $200,000 project as opposed to only funding half, which is the standard.
The project goal is to update equipment to second-generation technology.
"It will reduce the number of times the equipment is down for maintenance and reduce the costs of maintenance," Tankersley said.
The work will be managed by the city yet some of the project will be contracted out. Work is not going to disrupt operations, Tankersley said.
Other cities and counties have started applying degas systems to ASR wells as well.
In other business, the council:
n Approved plans for a new day care center at First Baptist Church of Bradenton to open by the fall 2013 school year. The special-use permit passed with two stipulations: a maximum 55 children and set hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
n The meeting began with Poston proclaiming April Child Abuse Prevention Month. Blue pinwheels, the new national symbol for child abuse prevention, were planted in front of city hall in recognition.
Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached to 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.