News center
Our company strives to provide superior goods, on-time order fulfillment, and personalized assistance.

Black Creek pipeline work progresses with contract OK'd for missing piece

Jul 02, 2023

A state agency is moving forward on a final component of a pipeline project to move water from Clay County’s Black Creek to an aquifer recharge area near Keystone Heights.

With construction underway elsewhere on the project, the St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board approved plans this month for a $17 million contract to build a water treatment system to lighten the color of the naturally dark creek water.

The treatment system is part of a 17-mile pipeline that a district bureau chief, Robert Naleway, told the board is targeted for completion by September 2025.

Mark Woods:Clay County's Bradley fighting for 'real Florida'

During months when the creek runs relatively high, the project is designed to pump up to 10 million gallons per day from an intake area along the creek near Penney Farms southwest to the edge of Camp Blanding.

From there, water would flow into Alligator Creek and feed Lakes Brooklyn and Geneva, which have been below normal levels for years but still lose part of their water to underground recharge areas for the Floridan aquifer.

The added water is projected to raise levels in Lake Brooklyn by nearly 10 feet and Lake Geneva by almost 5 feet.

But $118.7 million has been committed to funding the pipeline, largely from sources like Florida’s Legislature and Northeast Florida water utilities, because it is considered a “water resource development” project that will replenish the aquifer, Florida’s main source of drinking water.

The step the district board approved this month will pay a South Florida company, Westwind Contracting, to build six earthen cells where filtering material will be used to draw out chemical nutrients and substances that make the creek water darker than the notably clear lake water.

The district’s governing board agreed in April to spend $23.2 million on the filtering material, making selecting a contractor to build the treatment system a final key decision for completing the pipeline.

Parts of the project the board approved earlier are already well underway, Naleway said, showing the board visuals of work on the intake area and pump station to move the water, as well as examples of the 30-inch piping being installed along Florida 21.

The pipe work is expected to be finished by fall of next year, Naleway said.

Mark Woods: