TALLAHASSEE, FL. (WTXL) – The City of Blountstown now has the capability to upgrade and expand its aging wastewater-collection system thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
“This project is an example of the department’s continued focus on improving water quality and quantity,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “This additional lift station will help prevent harmful nitrates from reaching surface waters.”
“Water quality is essential to public health and economic growth,” said Senator Bill Montford. “I commend the local leaders of the city of Blountstown, Calhoun County and the Northwest Florida Water Management for their vision and commitment to making Calhoun County an even better place to live. It's a great example of intergovernmental cooperation.”
“This project is crucial to the future growth and sustainability of Blountstown,” said Representative Halsey Beshears. “I am thankful that DEP and the Northwest Florida Water Management District continue to recognize the importance of projects like these for the people of Calhoun County and Blountstown.”
“The city of Blountstown is grateful for this funding assistance from DEP,” said Traci Hall, interim city manager and finance director for the city of Blountstown. “Without this funding, the city would not be able to design and construct this new lift station, which is greatly needed to better serve our citizens and accommodate for future growth. We appreciate DEP providing this opportunity for the city of Blountstown.”
Blountstown has seen significant growth in the last 50 years. At this point, one basin in particular has grown to exceed its designed capacity. The funds from the department will go specifically to the design and construction of a new lift station and associated forcemain. In order to reduce the flow of the collection basin, the new lift station will allow for a bifurcation of current flow.
The addition of a new lift station will provide assurances that the currently strained system will have relief and not overflow. This protects surface water from increased nutrients, which can cause algae blooms and other negative consequences.
It is anticipated that this first phase of the project will be complete by late summer 2016.
Eventually, the city would like to expand its collection system to bring on line the nearby town of Altha and to serve the Calhoun County Catalyst Site.